BlackBerry’s messaging app has been available for Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android devices for more than two months by now. That’s why the post-Christmas app store results are fascinating; this is the busiest app download period of the year and it is unusually slanted towards teen consumers getting their first smartphones. BBM basically showed this week that is is building wide awareness among consumers in several key markets – it managed to pop into Top 5 iPhone download charts of UK and Argentina while hitting Number One in African benchmark countries like Nigeria and South Africa.
Among less Christmas-oriented Asian markets, BBM was the Number 1 iPhone app in the rapidly growing Indonesian market, while clinging to Number 24 in India and Number 60 in Malaysia. This is a solid performance for messaging app in three major Asian markets. The iPhone users in emerging markets tend to be the most affluent slice of the population and thus form a highly desirable marketing target. But how engaged are consumers? Are they using BBM enough to eventually form an appealing audience for advertising messages?
This is where iOS data from Mobidia, exclusively provided for Forbes, yields some fascinating answers. It is no surprise that KakaoTalk has sky-high engagement rate in Korea and China – Kakao is known to be a particularly immersive app in those markets where it has been able to build a decent presence. It’s also expected that LINE’s weekly engagement numbers are rock solid inits core market of Japan; LINE is also putting up strong performance in APAC countries like Indonesia and Malaysia where it has recently had strong traction.
But it is surprising how strong BBM engagement perf is in Asian markets outside China, Korea and Japan. BBM tops 100 minutes in weekly engagement in the “Other APAC” category that is driven by the massive mobile markets of Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. That beats engagement levels o thef far more heavily marketed LINE, Kakao and WeChat apps. It’s also noteworthy that another Canadian messaging app, Kik, is putting up big numbers in India and APAC countries. Outside of China, Japan and Korea, the two Canadian messaging apps are pulling consumers into their systems remarkably effectively, building bases of loyal and engaged followers.
This is going to be one key factor in determining how well BBM and Kik can monetize their user bases in the future.