[/blockquote]Facebook owned Whatsapp has been proclaimed as Android’s most popular messenger in the world by website and app tracking service, Similar Web. Delving deep into stats further reveals the app taking the crown in Uganda and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa with the exception of Algeria, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Liberia,CAR and Madagascar where its blue sibling, Messenger emerges on top while Viber takes Ethiopia, Libya and Mali.
The data was drawn from a pool of 187 countries, of which Whatsapp took the lead in 109 of them, and Messenger comes a distant second with 49 countries. Viber proved popular in Eastern Europe, WeChat (Weixin) took China, Line took Japan, KakaoTalk took South Korea, Imo took Cuba, BBM took Indonesia and Samsung’s defunct ChatOn took Eritrea.
It comes as no surprise Whatsapp sweeping the stats given its popularity. The first question asked once one exchanges contacts with peers is- if it is a WhatsApp contact? Telcos have responded to this with Whatsapp specific internet bundles, bundled with Twitter and Facebook since social networking is propelling data consumption on many networks.
Threatened by intermittent govt bans
However the increased usage of services such as WhatsApp has recently drawn the attention of state authorities and has been gagged on two occasions here in Uganda opting users to switch to alternatives like Telegram or switch on their VPN apps. We’re yet to see if Telegram poses a real threat to Whatapp and can put a dent to its growth. For now Telegram’s growth hasn’t curtailed the former’s and neither have attempts by authorities except of course during periods of temporary shutdowns.
The state interference would only pose a threat if it were prolonged but at the look of things, we have nothing to worry about given it short lived, at least here in Uganda..