KUALA LUMPUR: WeChat, a mobile messaging application has seen significant growth with an active user base increase of 1,187% in Malaysia, and 156% globally between the first quarter of 2013 and third quarter of 2014.
In comparison, the WhatsApp user base in Malaysia only grew by 202% while Facebook Messenger grew by 192% during the same period.
According to a survey by market research Global Web Index (GWI), 80% of Malaysian WeChat users are aged between 16 and 34.
GWI Head of Trends Jason Mander said the application now has the youngest demographic out of all competing social communication applications, with a third of its global active user base being 16 to 24-years-old.
“About 80% of this age group users say it is critical for them to be contactable at all times,” he said at a media briefing here, Tuesday.
He said WeChat’s dominant position in the messaging application arena was signified by nearly a quarter (23%) of the world’s Internet users, and a staggering 39% within the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are excited about WeChat’s strong growth momentum both globally and throughout Malaysia, and expect to see it adding more users in the coming quarters,” he said.
Mander said the research also found that Malaysians preferred WeChat because it was convenient and quicker than using social networks or text messages to speak to people.
“Another reason was that they found it offering more privacy to chat with their friends compared to social networks like Facebook, fun to use, and free of charge,” he added. – Bernama