Google Hangouts continues to trail rivals in usage, according to report


According to new numbers from Mobidia, traffic on Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Hangouts is far behind those of rival platforms including Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Messenger. The results are notable considering Google Hangouts launched with significant fanfare in May across both Google's Android and Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS.

Mobidia's latest figures from May show that WhatsApp generated an average monthly usage of almost 300 minutes per user in the United States, leading the pack of third-party messaging providers. Line came in second, followed by Viber, Facebook Messenger and Skype. However, the situation in Germany and India was quite different, with WhatsApp leading by a wide margin.

Source: Mobidia. Click here for a larger version of this image.

Millions of mobile users across the globe use Mobidia's "My Data Manager" app on iOS and Android to manage their cellular data consumption. A portion of those users anonymously send reports on their data consumption and application usage to Mobidia, which the company said gives it a view into on and off-network network data consumption in over 600 different cellular networks around the world.

Mobidia's latest findings help put into perspective Google's launch of its Hangouts app. Google launched Hangouts in May in conjunction with its I/O developer's conference; the app collects text, image and video conversations into one service and essentially represents Google's response to the growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber and BlackBerry's (NASDAQ:BBRY) BBM. Hangouts replaces Google Talk and G+ Messenger.

The launch of Google Hangouts was relatively successful on iOS, according to Distimo, which obtains its data from a daily sampling of transactional app data (of around 3 billion downloads per quarter) and publicly available information. The firm in June said Hangouts generated significant download traffic through the Apple App Store after it launched.

However, according to Distimo, the launch of Google Hangouts did not have much of an impact in Google's home turf of Android.

Google Hangouts is one of a growing number of third-party messaging services that are cutting into wireless carrier's SMS revenues. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, by the end of 2013 over-the-top (OTT) messaging services like Google Hangout will transmit double the number of SMS transferred by wireless carriers.

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