Why WhatsApp is way up
Pew Internet Research has found that 2/3 of mobile users check for messages without waiting for any type of alert. The importance of messaging to the mobile consumer has been exemplified recently by the parabolic growth of WhatsApp. The dedicated messaging app announced last week that it has 250 million active users, compared to the mere 200 mil that Twitter claimed last December. The Business Insider has published insights into the business model and philosophy being WhatsApp's growth, which totally eschews advertising in exchange for small user fees.
WhatsApp is hardly the only SMS alternative growing in polularity, Viber and WeChat are two others that Hongkiat included in a feature comparison. Together, the dedicated apps are presenting a challenge to Facebook's mobile growth. Facebook has been fighting back with Chat Heads and now stickers, features from an advertising based system that seem targeted at the attention of a mobile market that just wants to get their message.