Messaging apps ‘will overtake’ social media

Web Log: Gartner predicts messaging platforms like WhatsApp will lead the way in ‘post-app era’

Although social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular apps on the average smartphone, research firm Gartner predicts that within the next two years messaging platforms will outperform.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and virtual personal assistants (VPAs) – mostly standalone but increasingly integrated within messaging apps as intelligent, responsive chatbots – are set to rule the roost in what Jessica Ekholm, research director at Gartner, calls a "post-app era".

Currently, 83 per cent of smartphone users across the United Kingdom, United States and China say they use social media apps, down two per cent on the last Gartner survey in 2015.

Engaging app experiences

Meanwhile, those using messaging apps has risen from 68 to 71 per cent and use of VPAs rose from 31 to 35 per cent. Overall, the average number of installed apps per user has dropped.

“[Users] want rich and engaging app experiences and are increasingly looking for apps that can offer a multitude of services without users having to leave the app itself. This supports the move toward messaging and VPAs, and ultimately the post-app era,” said Ekholm.