The global growth of social media networks is still going smoothly. However, the growth is brought about mainly by messaging apps rather than social network sites. According to a report by We Are Social, out of 6 of the largest social platforms, 4 of them are messaging apps. Facebook is still on the lead with over 1.36 billion active users on a monthly basis. However, QQ, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat also figure on the list and they rank above other social networks.

China has demonstrated a major tilt in the balance with an enormous market with a population of about 1.3 billion and about 642 million people active on the internet. Tencent, a China-based company owns 2 out of the top chat apps, QQ and We Chat. QZone, the second-ranked social network has about 629 million users.

The predominance of messaging apps is showing a global trend. This might be explained by the fact that these apps are mostly used by the younger demographics and this makes it an essential element of the social industry. Marketers are now considerably seeking to target these services to reach consumers.

For example, Snapchat has started experimenting with ads. The app is also planning to launch new features this month, namely the Discovery feature which will enable users to publish ad-supported videos on the network. WeChat now enables users to do so much more than just chat. Typical features include the possibility of sending money, shopping and even hailing taxis. Brands are also able to send sponsored text messages to target their audience.