When thinking about the most popular apps in the world, one clearly comes to mind: Facebook. However, according to recent reports, another app has taken the crown as the world’s most-used: the Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
WhatsApp, a popular messaging service, recently surpassed the social media giant in terms of monthly active users. In fact, that happened last September, according to a report from analytics organization App Annie.
The report doesn’t give specifics, but it does show that both Facebook and WhatsApp have almost 200 million active users each month, and that WhatsApp gained a slight advantage and pulled ahead at the end of last year.
WhatsApp is especially popular in India, where it has the most users, followed by Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and Russia. Despite some controversy about fake news, the app still took hold in India and Brazil, especially after the company took some steps to battle it.
The app is also popular in the U.K. and Canada, and many credit its ease of use and end-to-end encryption. Another big selling point is the fact that it allows users a free alternative to standard text messaging, which can be costly, especially out of one’s own country.
A spokesperson from App Annie agreed with that sentiment. “Although their value proposition has subsequently expanded, this core offering has resulted in continued success in emerging markets, where the cost of using a mobile device is still high relative to average income,” the spokesperson said.
The future of the app is by no means assured, however. An upcoming Indian election could change the way it is used in the country. Also, both founders of WhatsApp left Facebook because of problems they had with CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision for it. He wanted to introduce ads to the app, which they didn’t agree with.