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This article was published on July 9, 2014


The Philippines shows Facebook Messenger can out-gun WhatsApp and chat apps in Asia

The Philippines shows Facebook Messenger can out-gun WhatsApp and chat apps in Asia Image by: Stephen Lam
Jon Russell
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Jon Russell

Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

Back in January, I wrote that Facebook Messenger shouldn’t be discounted from the messaging app race, and there’s plenty of evidence for that — even after Facebook bought WhatsApp — and not just in the US market. A new report on mobile in the Philippines from OnDevice Research suggests that Messenger is the overwhelming chat app of choice in the country.

While smartphone adoption is increasingly rapidly in the Philippines, it remains among the lowest in Asia Pacific. But — and this is a significant marker for Facebook and Messenger — 80 percent of mobile users there are regular Facebook Messenger users. That’s way more than other chat apps.

Screenshot 2014-07-09 11.49.26

For what it’s worth, a whopping 70 percent of the country’s 40 million internet users are aged under 30. So, while Facebook may be passé for many young people in the US, the social network and Messenger remain hugely popular for their peers across the world — even in messaging app-crazy Southeast Asia.

➤ Philippines mobile internet trends [OnDevice Research]

Related: Facebook’s two-pronged mobile messaging app strategy

And also: Why Facebook isn’t getting into the lucrative chat app gaming space

Thumbnail image via Stephen Lam / AFP / Getty Images

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