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April 10, 2012

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Phani Raj K

Hi Tomi,
you should add SMSGupshup from India to the list , it has close to 50 million users . see this
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-08-31/news/29949392_1_valuations-venture-capital-helion-ventures

wesley

Until 1 wk ago this was an iPhone only developer getting bought for 1b. Is there any pre ident like this for any Symbian only developer?

@martingicheru

No idea about Samsung ChatON numbers, but I think it should be way past a million by now. Same as 2Go

Baron95

Hi Tomi,

Very informative and worthwhile effort. Thanks for pulling it together.

Since you included BBM, you obviously need to include iMessage, which is four times larger.

Baron95

A few others missing...Orkut (huge in Brazil, big in India), google+, AOL (yes, still big),

Sander van der Wal

Nimbuzz is from the Netherlands and has 50 million users? Possible, but as there are just 16 million Dutch, most of those 50 million ain't Dutch.

virgil

What, you say Google+ doesn't have 1M mobile users? I find that very hard to believe....

And as others say... if BBM is a "social netowrk", then why not include iMessage and gtalk? (every sanctioned Android phone out there has gtalk on it).

@wesley - and what happened 1 week ago that triggered this purchase? Yes, admit it, the coincidence is too high - Instagram wasn't bought because it was an iOS thing.... it was bought because it was a multi-platform success. Had it remained on iOS exclusive, it would've been a minor player, ignored by pretty much everyone.
Just watch Instapaper vanish into oblivion, that developer swore that he'll never move out of iOS.

Cathal Dempsey

LinkedIn ?

Tomi T Ahonen

Thank you for all the comments. Please keep in mind if you suggest social networks haha, like Linked In or G+ etc, we need official stats on the MOBILE users on those networks. And the installed base of some app that ships with a handset is not the same as active user base, we need an active user base. Like BBM, the total installed base of Blackberries is far greater than the actual active user base of Blackberry Messenger, but RIM tells us it is 'over 50 million'. For iMessage I will try to find a mobile user number, I believe it works across all iOS devices, doesn't it, so the total iMessage user count is too large

Keep the discussion going on, I will return with comments soon

Tomi Ahonen :-)

wesley

@ Virgil- if thats the case then provide me with a similar Android app developer. As of this purchase Instagram is 80% iOS, can you provide ONE example of Andriod dominated Developer with this kind of valuation?

@ Tomi - still waiting for a Symbian example...


My point is that for all the talk about market share, everyone knows where the money is. A developer in less than 2 yrs choose the IOS platform nearly exclusively and turn it into 1billion!!!

That could never and would never happen on ANY OTHER mobile platform

Mardus

March 26, 2011 (a year ago): Grindr announced that it had officially hit 3.5 million users in 192 countries across the globe.[The reference link at Wikipedia was dead :]

Mikko Martikainen

The rise of Instagram valuation is indeed staggering. I'm actually very curious if there are any other examples of companies gaining valuation so fast?

@Tomi

I believe Twitter mobile user base should be at 77 million by now, if we assume the same percentage of mobile users as reported before (55%, according to http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/us-twitter-advertising-idINTRE81R1ZO20120228 ). The latest info on total user base is at 140 million according to their company blog from March 21st.

Also, how about separating purely mobile social networks from those that are also accessible via "normal" web? Or at least showing the percentage of user base form mobile devices, I believe that would be quite interesting to see, and probably a good indication of the future growth pattern of the social networks. My hypothesis is that the social networks that have the highest mobile user percentage also grow the fastest, or at least faster than those that are predominantly accessed via non-mobile devices.

DS

@virgil
> Just watch Instapaper vanish into oblivion, that developer swore that he'll never move out of iOS.
If you hurt yourself, somebody can come up and save you against your will...
http://www.instafetch.com/
Their android client is top noth, better than competing read me later.

kevin

So it looks like apps can have tremendous value.

Also, iMessenger should be iMessage.

Baron95

Pretty much any iPhone iOS5 to iPhone iOS 5 SMS goes via iMessage - that should give you the bottom of the iMessage user forecast. I'd say number of iOS5 iPhones is a good estimate. 200M users soon.

chithanh

Google+ app for Android reports more than 10 million downloads.

Stoli89

Surprised that fring is not on this list.

Baron95

On an unrelated Nokia note, apparently Nokia SW engineers can't even manage to load the correct version of Windows Phone SW on Lumia 900 devices. They shipped devices with faulty SW and as a result, as of today, Nokia is offering a $100 rebate to all American (AT&T) Nokia 900 buyers, in effect making the device free with a contract.

The level of technical incompetence is astounding!!!!

The good will gesture to American consumers was a good move though.

AlanC

Hi there,

also missed here is RockeTalk - A native Mobile social network with 15.5m users...across India and south asia

dangli

Hello Tomi,
Just out of curiosity, why are you listing iMessage as a Mobile Social Network?
With such a reasoning should you not list SMS and MSISDN with its total global population then?

To me iMessage is more an SMS type service than a Social Network. So if listing that you should list SMS.

cycnus

On What's App.

Nokia also promoting What's App like crazy to combat BBM, not to mention a lot of Blackberry user also use What's App.

So, I'm very surprised that the What's App number is very low.

anon

Latest numbers on MocoSpace are over 25 million: http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/MocoSpace/feature.asp?c=36607

Kai Lukoff

I love this initiative, and wanted to share my two cents.

1) Apples-to-oranges comparisons. As I understand, Facebook counts MAU, which makes its 425m even more impressive. A lot of the other services simply count total registered users--and there's a huge difference. I'd suggest counting MAU where possible. Not all companies provide that, but I'd rather estimate MAU than list MAU and registered side-by-side.

2) On the Chinese Numbers
I'd like to share a few thoughts on the Chinese numbers, which, after all, make up 3 of your top 4.

Mobile QQ (Tencent) - 200m | This number is too low. 200m is only for Mobile Game Hall, not QQ Messenger. QQ Messenger should be significantly higher than this: it has a total of 721m actives, of which I think ~40% could be estimated as mobile users. So 288m. See: http://www.tencent.com/en-us/content/at/2011/attachments/20120314.pdf http://www.marbridgeconsulting.com/marbridgedaily/2012-02-08/article/53481/mobile_qq_game_registered_users_exceeds_200_mln

Sina Weibo - 150m | This number is way too high. Sina Weibo has about 30m total MAU, of which maybe 60% are mobile users. So 20m MAU. The 150m number is misleading.

Renren - 61m | This number is also too high. Renren has about 35m MAU, of which last I read 50% are mobile users. So I think 17m or so is a better figure.

3) The Missing Chinese Social Networks
The extended QQ empire: QQ by Tencent has a whole suite of mobile products that all support log-in via a QQ ID log-in: QQ Mobile Game Hall, QZone, Pengyou, Tencent Weibo, etc. I don't think I'd count these as independent social networks (they're all heavily dependent and synergetic with QQ Messenger). See: http://techrice.com/2011/05/24/inside-tencent-weibo-ichinastock-slideshare/

One major Chinese social network you're missing is Weixin by Tencent, which claims 50m registered, 25m active. It's Tencent's shot at the white-collar smartphone market, so it stands further apart from the rest of the QQ empire. It's like a much improved What's App, with far richer social features. This one is a big deal. See: http://techrice.com/2011/12/13/2012-will-be-the-year-of-weixin/

Other Chinese networks that are missing: Douban, Jiayuan, Jiepang, Qieke, Weidiling, and Momo.

Kai Lukoff (卢凯)
www.techrice.com

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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