Mail applications change the way we communicate with each other. Each year, more and more people have access to the best email applications. They are certainly an important element of our personal and professional relationships. We have done our annual research on the most popular email apps in the world to provide answers to some common questions: What are the most popular email applications in 2021 ? Which my clients use ? You will learn everything about the best email apps in this article.
Most popular email applications per monthly active user
Active monthly users (MAU) refer to the number of people who use a platform per month. It is a good indicator of the health and relevance of an email app. Here are the first five email applications classified according to their MAU in July 2021:
- The best email applications: WhatsApp
- The best email applications: Facebook Messenger
- The best email applications: WeChat
- The best email applications: QQ
- The best email applications: Telegram
Surprised to see Telegram in the Top 5 ? As we will explain later, this textual application was one of the protagonists of 2021. Indeed, Telegram has recently crossed the billion mark of downloads.
1. The best email applications: WhatsApp
What is the most used messaging application in the world ? It is WhatsApp, whose popularity is overwhelming in Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Oceania. In addition, it remains the most popular messaging application in countries like India, Brazil and Pakistan.
WhatsApp is constantly in the top 3 communication applications in all countries except South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, China and Myanmar. With more than 2b MAU, WhatsApp is far ahead of the rest of the competitors.
Speaking of competitors, there is another close competitor who belongs to the same umbrella company. This means that Facebook has the two most popular messaging applications in terms of MAU
2. The best email applications: Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger occupies second place in the ranking. In January 2021, 1.3 billion people regularly used Facebook Messenger or Messenger Lite each month. In the United States and Canada, it has become the most popular iOS email application in the App Store.
In both countries, Facebook Messenger is the second most popular application to users of Android after WhatsApp. Simply put, North American iOS users prefer Facebook Messenger. And WhatsApp seems to be the favorite choice for Android users.
The United States is one of the main markets for Facebook Messenger. In fact, 9 out of 10 citizens choose it as their main messaging application. In Canada, half of the population uses Facebook Messenger. This makes a total of 18,490,000 users.
However, Facebook Messenger is rarely the most popular application in the rest of the world. Only the United States, Canada, Hungary, Mongolia, Madagascar and Vietnam use it as the main cat application.
What is the next step ? Not surprisingly, the two most popular instant messaging systems in China are again entering the world ranking. Let’s go straight to the Chinese market.
3. The best email applications: WeChat
In terms of messaging applications, China has always been a special case. Popular messaging applications like WhatsApp, Line, Telegram, Facebook Messenger or Viber are banned in the country.
WeChat of Tencent is the most popular Chinese application. It has 1,242 million active monthly users worldwide. It is not only used to communicate with your contacts, it also has a lot to offer.
WeChat Pay is now a digital payment method common in China, which also includes many popular mini-programs. These are applications within WeChat that include e-commerce, games, rentals, and many more.
WeChat is by far the most effective means of online communication in the country. However, it is not always the option favored by young Chinese people. Other email applications like QQ or DuoShan are increasingly attractive to them.
4. The best email applications: QQ
QQ is still very successful in China. Young Chinese people are their main target market since QQ users do not need a telephone number to register. With 606 million MAU, it is the fourth most used messaging application in the world ranking.
Before WeChat was launched, QQ was the main email application in China. Today, people mainly use it as a communication tool for offices. It is used as a common office messenger for transferring heavy files.
It’s time to talk about the last place on the list. Despite its position, it is the fastest growing application of all. Telegram’s MAUs keep increasing. And it has already surpassed some of the most popular cat applications like Viber or Line.
5. The best email applications: Telegram
Unlike Line or Kakao, Telegram is not a regional phenomenon. In fact, it has become a significant competitor in multiple geographic areas. In 2020, it was the mail application of choice for 14 countries. A year later, this figure increased to 25.
Currently, the app has 550 million active monthly users. We also observed that Telegram has increased its user base by 25% year after year since 2018. It is expected to reach 1 billion active monthly users by 2022.
We have dealt with global figures. But now is the time to take a closer look at the different geographic areas. This is where we discover new trends and find the best markets for each email application.
Most popular email applications by country
We visited the Play Store and the App Store of 230 countries to find out which email applications for Android and iOS are at the top of the communication category. We were able to discover the most popular messaging application in each country.
Classification algorithms are not fully disclosed. However, we know that factors such as downloads, engagement, scoring and reviews influence the classification of an application. Here are our findings on the best mobile messaging applications per country this year.
WhatsApp is the most popular email application in Western Europe. But for the first time, Telegram took second place in Messenger. Signal was the surprise of this year. He quickly became the third favorite of Android users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
In Central Europe, WhatsApp is also at the top of the list. But in this case, Messenger remains the second preferred option, leaving Telegram in third position. Viber is also a popular choice for some central European countries like Greece or Serbia.
Telegram has become one of the most popular instant messaging apps in Eastern Europe. In 2021, Russia and Ukraine chose it as the main courier, followed by WhatsApp and Viber.
In South Asia, WhatsApp is at the top of the list. It is followed by Telegram and Facebook Messenger. India is the largest market in WhatsApp with 390.1 MAU, but the application is also very successful in countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The same is true in Southeast Asia, where these three messaging applications are most used. This region has other competitive options which vary from country to country. MiChat is fashionable in Indonesia, as is Line in Thailand. In Vietnam, Viber and Zalo are also two popular options.
In the Middle East, WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram are the most popular messaging services. However, in countries like Saudi Arabia or Yemen, IMO is a common choice.
As we mentioned, WeChat is the most popular app in China, but also the third most popular email application in the world. Likewise, QQ is the second most popular preferred option for Chinese users and the fourth most popular email application in the world.
Japanese users view Line as their main email application. It is followed by Kakao Talk and Google Messages. In Japan, Line develops gradually every year. However, the number of global users of Line has not grown significantly in the past five years.
In South Korean messaging applications, Kakao Talk ranks first in his home country, followed by Telegram and Line.
What are the most popular messaging applications in the United States in 2021 ? Facebook Messenger is one of the most popular messaging houses in the USA for iOS, which accounts for 53% of the application’s market share. It is closely followed by WhatsApp and, to a lesser extent, by Telegram.
It is interesting to note that WhatsApp is the preferred option for Android users, who represent 46% of the market for mobile operating systems in North America. In 2020, Messenger was the most popular messaging application 2021 among American Android users, but not among Canadian Android users.
In most Central and South American countries, WhatsApp remains the first messaging application. This includes densely populated countries like Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Meanwhile, Telegram is taking second place in many of these countries.
Messenger remains an important competitor and occupies third place in the ranking. The powerful trio of applications has very little competition in this region.
As in the previous year, the three main messaging applications in Africa are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. It is one of the few regions where Messenger has not been dislodged by the Telegram boom.
It should be mentioned that other messaging applications like Gem4Me or Ayoba are very popular in some African countries. Their number of users continues to increase. However, they are still far from being included in the top 3 on the African continent.
Messenger was the favorite cat app for Australians and New Zealanders. In 2021, this is no longer the case. WhatsApp recently took first place on both the Play Store and the App Store.
In Papua New Guinea, BiP is the most popular email application, but Internet penetration remains low in the country. For this reason, the total number of users is not sufficient to include it in the top 3.
As you can see, different countries show a preference for different apps. Asia has a wide variety of messaging applications, while WhatsApp, Telegram and Messenger are rarely contested in Central and South America.
Now is the time to move on to the last section, where we discuss the main trends we have noticed this year.
Trends in the most popular messaging applications in 2021
Since our last search for email apps in July 2020, important things have happened. We talked about MAU and regional preferences. But what key points can we draw from this year’s results ?
Best Mail Applications: WhatsApp stays in the lead
WhatsApp is the most used application ? Our study on the most used applications by country in 2021 shows that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging application in 188 out of 230 countries.
If we ignore WeChat and QQ, which are the most important in China, and Facebook Messenger, which also belongs to Facebook, the next big competitor of WhatsApp would be Telegram. Telegram currently has four times fewer users than WhatsApp.
But why do people use WhatsApp ? Well, there are several reasons: It is the most popular application in the world, so your contacts probably use it already. She was there when smartphone fever started almost ten years ago, and she took advantage of it.
It is also easy to use since the users of WhatsApp are identified by telephone numbers. This makes adding new contacts fairly simple compared to other methods such as usernames. Users can send messages to their WhatsApp contacts with their phone number simply, provided the two parties have installed WhatsApp.
It is not the only application to experience a moment of sweetness. The year 2021 was particularly positive for Telegram and Signal. Although they have a smaller user base, they quickly become more and more relevant in the instant messaging game.
The best email applications: Telegram and Signal are on the rise
Telegram is the second most popular email application in the Google PlayStore for more than 100 countries. In the App Store, it is only for 25 countries. The success of the application is due to its innovative functionality and to people’s growing concern about Internet confidentiality.
In fact, at the start of 2021, Telegram and Signal both experienced a huge increase in their downloads, by 98% and 1,192% respectively. This phenomenon was caused by the new WhatsApp policy which involved sharing user data with Facebook.
But there is another element that pushed Signal to skyrocket in such a short time: In January of this year, Elon Musk tweeted “Utilize Signal” to his 42 million followers. Signal peaked at 51 million downloads in the same month, becoming one of the most popular 2021 messaging systems in some European countries.
The first month of the year was also successful for Telegram. The application has obtained 64 million new downloads and has become the most downloaded application in January in the world.
Is Telegram vs WhatsApp already a reality ? Well, it’s unlikely, at least for now. But Telegram became one of the most popular messaging applications in 2021. Time will tell if it’s just temporary or a new trend.
Messenger jostled by Telegram
During our research in 2021, we noticed an interesting diagram: In many geographic areas, Telegram replaces Messenger as the second most popular messaging application. This phenomenon is often observed in Android users, but not in iOS users
In nearly 100 countries, Telegram has replaced Messenger as the second best email application on the Play Store, while the latter falls in third place. This suggests that Telegram finally reversed the situation, becoming a serious competitor for Messenger.
This raises an important question: Why is it Messenger and not WhatsApp who pays for the success of Telegram ? The truth is that Telegram is still far from the figures of WhatsApp. However, it is developing fast enough to challenge Messenger in several countries.
Nevertheless, Messenger remains very relevant in 8 of the 10 most populous countries on the planet. But if Telegram continues to grow at this rate, it could become the second non-Chinese application in terms of BAD in just a few years.
You want to know more about the best email applications ? So we recommend that you read the following three articles: