Messaging apps aren’t just for people looking to chat anymore. These apps have become so ubiquitous that publishers are not able to ignore their use for marketing to their audiences.
The top four messaging apps alone have more than 3 billion monthly active users. That’s a huge audience for you to ignore.
If you want to remain relevant with all audiences and expand your reach, you need to be exploring ways that you can use these apps to your advantage.
Here are the top messaging apps for publishers that you should be using:
As the king of social media, it’s no surprise that Facebook is also a major player for messaging.
Facebook Messenger has 900 million users, which is less than the main site, but still a significant amount for marketing efforts. Of those users, there are 50 million businesses.
Facebook Messenger is the fastest-growing messenger app, and it boasts great user engagement. Users spend an average of 236 minutes on Messenger per month, which is nearly four hours.
One of the unique features of Facebook Messenger is that it allows bots. These can do everything from provide news for subscribers to automate marketing. You can build your own bot to use on Messenger, or you can shop for one in the store.
WhatsApp is also owned by Facebook, and it has 1 billion users.
What is unique about WhatsApp is that it lets users send text messages without using their own data plan or having to subscribe to a phone or Internet plan. The app has users all over the world, and 70 percent of users are on the app every day. People sent an average of 30 billion messages on the app every day.
The majority of users on the app right now are international. That means that if you start using it, you will want to tailor your content for overseas audiences. However, you will need to remain aware of changes as they happen since the audience is likely to shift quickly as the app grows in size.
SnapChat is like the dark horse of social media. Few people thought it would be much more than a passing trend, but it has grown so popular that major brands and even politicians are using it to connect with audiences.
SnapChat has 100 million daily users, and the majority of them are in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic. Videos are popular on the app, and it has 8 billion video views per day.
You’ll need to be creative if you want to publish on the app since it can be hard for new users to get discovered. Take advantage of tools like curated stories and custom filters to get the exposure you want on the app.
We Chat is much more than a messaging app. It also includes options for gaming, shopping and media.
The China-based app has 700 million users. The majority of its users — about 85 percent — are between the ages of 18 and 35, so it is especially popular with the younger demographic.
Take advantage of the subscriptions section on the app to connect with audiences. You can promote content as well as market your products and services through the subscription. You’ll just need to create incentives to get users to subscribe.
Another Asian app, Line has 215 million monthly users.
The app is based in Japan, and it has grown so popular there that developers are now selling plushies and other merchandise based on the app. Nine out of 10 people ages 30 to 39 who are on social media on their mobile devices use this messaging app.
The majority of the audience is based in Japan and other Asian countries, but the app is growing. Major brands like The Wall Street Journal and Mashable are using the app, and you should explore opportunities for using it to connect with your own audience.
Kik is a fast-growing app out of Canada.
Right now, it has only 260 million registered users, but we expect that number to grow quickly.
Younger users are on the app, as on other emerging apps. About 40 percent of users are between the ages of 18 and 24. Users spend an average of 35 minutes on the app during a single session.
Kik develops specific tools to help publishers connect with audiences. For example, if readers sent “LOL” to BuzzFeed, they get back new articles. Not only does this feature help audiences get more content, but it also helps to reinforce the brand.
Messaging is here to stay, and if you are not using these apps, it is time you start. If you have a limited budget or resources, start with the larger apps. However, if you have the resources, it is worth exploring them all.