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6 brand new facts about messaging app use in Australia

June 2017 – We have just published Datafication 7 and for the first time we are able to make some interesting new observations about messaging app use in Australia. Hopefully, useful input for your own plans.

1. Messaging App uptake has grown 13% in the last 12 months
The total number of messaging app users in AU has increased by 13%, from 10.5 million in 2016 to 11.9 million in 2017. These figures are for people aged 15+ only. This has been a quiet revolution that should make us all think about where our audiences, and their attention, are headed. Brands now need to crack the code of using this very personal channel in a constructive way that provides real utility and service, or run the risk of not being part of the conversation.

2. Uptake is growing fastest amongst Gen X
It’s often thought that messaging apps are mainly used by teenagers – how wrong we’ve been. People aged 20-24 are the fastest growing group in Australia with a 17% YOY growth, followed by Gen X with a 13% YOY growth, people aged 55+ are not far behind. It’s having an impact on the communication habits of the majority of adult Australians.

3. 38% of messaging app users now see messaging app as their primary communications device
This primary use number is important, as it reflects deep adoption of the messaging app into peoples’ lives. This primary use number has increased from 33% to 38% in the last 12 months, with the fastest growing age group being Generation Z (rising from 54% to 65%). Email, voice calls and traditional social media are all paying the price with significant decreases measured across these groups.

4. We use messaging apps overwhelmingly for one-to-one conversations rather than group chat
84% of messaging apps users choose to talk to one person at a time, with the figure rising to 94% for Gen X people aged 35-54. This underlines the highly personal and private nature of messaging chat. Overall we tend to have between 1-5 conversations active at any one time.

5. 9.9 million Australians have left their messaging app notifications ON
Given the strong daily engagement with friends and family on messaging apps, we leave the notification setting on more than any other app on our mobiles. Men are less likely to leave them on than women. Importantly, people who leave their notifications on access their messaging app an average 23 times a day versus just 14 for times a day for people who have notifications turned off.

6. Messaging app chatbots are most appealing to Gen Y (people aged 20-34)
Although most people don’t understand what a chatbot is (84% of messaging app users), when shown a range of chatbot conversations, they get pretty excited. We found that use cases in food ordering, checking your data balance, finding gifts and checking out entertainment had particularly strong appeal across all age groups, except Baby Boomers and Gen Z. Gen Y males win hands down across the board with 57% liking a wide range of chatbot use cases. Overall, we estimate 5.2 million people are interested in using the range of chatbots that we tested.

Love to get your feedback, theories, data queries and ideas on this, so please message us