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. 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

Source: Captain Gizmo youtube channel

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