Mobile messaging in Asia: Insights from The Internet Show 2014

Low Lai Chow

Mobile messaging apps are becoming a key part of the digital ecosystem, not least in fast-growing markets like Asia, where smartphones are often the primary means both of getting online and staying in touch with friends and family.

In reflection of the shift in the locus of the digital universe, messaging app Nimbuzz moved its headquarters from the Netherlands to India two years ago. Today, it boasts over 200 million users, around 20% of which are based in its adopted home country. Other key markets include Indonesia, the Middle East, North Africa and – increasingly – Latin America.

"The interesting behavioural trend that we're noticing is: most of these users are getting onto [the] mobile internet for services like Facebook and other messaging needs," Joby Babu, its CEO, told delegates at The Internet Show 2014. "This is working as an acquisition lever for many of the mobile operators."