google.com, pub-5618279750012654, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

Most Popular Instant Messengers 1995 – 2020


In this data visualization video I look at the most popular instant messaging apps based on monthly active users. It includes the first graphical instant messaging app, PowWow. It was far ahead of its time but did not gain much traction.

I know there are many more apps but their numbers were either missing or inaccurate. Here are the ones I included:

1995
PowWow
First Graphical Standalone IM Client
First with VoIP, whiteboard, text-to-speech, surf together, audio player

1996
ICQ
First widely adopted IM client

1997
AIM
Initially integrated into AOL Desktop

1998
Yahoo! Messenger

1999
QQ
Popular in China

1999
MSN Messenger
AKA Windows Live Messenger

2003
Skype
Focused on video-chat

2005
Google Talk

2005
Blackberry Messenger

2009
WhatsApp
Developed by former Yahoo employees

2009
Kik Messenger
Reached 40% of US teens by 2016

2010
Viber

2011
WeChat

2011
iMessage

2011
SnapChat


2012
LINE

2012
Hike Messenger

2013
Telegram

2013
Facebook Messenger

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