Samsung has today announced that ChatON, its cross-platform mobile messaging service, has passed 100 million registered users. The company claims it has added 50 million new sign-ups over the last four months.
ChatON offers free messaging and is available across Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone, while it comes pre-loaded on “most major” devices in Samung’s Galaxy range — for example: the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3 and even its Galaxy Gear smartwatch and the Galaxy Camera. There is also a client for Samsung PCs.
How does that compare to the competition?
WhatsApp leads the industry with 300 million monthly active users (its registered user base is unknown but likely much higher), but ChatON is ahead of BlackBerry’s BBM (60 million), Kik (80 million) and others. However, Asian rivals WeChat, Line and Kakao Talk are larger in size, based on user numbers.
ChatON is available in 237 different countries and in 63 languages. Samsung says that, in particular, it has charted “steady growth” in India, China, and the United States, while it is growing in Europe and the Middle East too.
While pre-installations have helped no doubt helped ChatON reach 100 million users, it’s not clear how many users treat the service as their primary messaging app. With its wide availability and support for five different devices per account, it could be a useful option for those who own a Samsung device, and those who don’t but have friends and family that do — but we suspect actual usage is lower than other messaging apps.
Samsung’s cross-platform success is a route that once dominant smartphone maker BlackBerry could have taken. Instead, the firm kept its BBM service exclusive to its own devices from years, that’s before a botched iOS and Android launch earlier this month. A full BBM rollout is expected “soon”.
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