MOSCOW, March 10. /TASS/. The most popular mobile instant messengers (including social networks) in Russia by the end of 2016 of steel Vkontakte, WhatsApp and Viber. These data are presented in the study J’son & Partners Consulting, who conducted a survey.

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The previous poll on this subject J’son & Partners Consulting conducted in mid-2015, then the current leader – the social network “Vkontakte” has occupied only 5-e a place. When this service is Skype, which was the absolute leader in 2013 and was awarded 3rd place in 2015 has left the top 3 and won in 2016, 4 th place in Russia .

“The decline in the popularity of Skype in Russia in 2016 is confirmed by other surveys and is due to insufficiently high quality of communication, lots of advertising, not a simple registration and distribution of contacts compared to other messengers (Viber, WhatsApp and Telegram), as well as the need to maintain the app active to allow communications in real time,” explains the study.

As noted in the study J’son & Partners Consulting, the world’s most popular messaging app is WhatsApp (according to the data given in the study, the number of users by the end of 2016 amounted to 1.2 billion), second place goes to Facebook Messenger (with 1 billion according to mid-2016). Among the popular instant messengers are also present, Chinese QQ services (900 million users in the third quarter of 2016) and WeChat (846 million in the third quarter). The service Skype to Microsoft at the end of I quarter of last year, more than 300 million users. Also among the largest in the world of instant messengers entered Viber and Line 260 million and 217 million users at the end of 2016, respectively.

Overall in 2016, OTT international voice traffic for the first time surpassed traditional voice traffic, the study said. So, with the help of OTT-services users have talked over the year 552 billion minutes, and on the ordinary phone – 546 billion minutes specified in the study.

Problem with monetization

One of the main problems for messengers remains the question of monetization. Now companies are trying to ensure that the proceeds of messengers, selling advertising, stickers and Souvenirs, charging a fee on owners of business accounts or using the “social Commerce”. Such attempts, they will take in the future.

However, one of the most promising areas, according to experts, is the transformation of the messengers in the platform for third-party applications and services. A vivid example of such a platform can serve as a popular Chinese instant messenger WeChat, which is due to the partnership with millions of companies from different segments (from public transport to food delivery and sale of digital content) was able to integrate a large number of services in one application.

Competition from operators

Russian operators are also trying to enter the market of instant messengers: MTS launched its messenger MTS Connect in 2015, “the Megaphone” in 2016, announced the launch of eMotion, and VimpelCom plans to launch in Russia own Internet platform VEON in the second quarter of 2017. However, as noted in the study, “until now, none of the Russian operators failed to create a project in the field of mobile messenging who could compete in popularity with existing global brands.”

Examples of the successful launch of mobile instant messengers too little. In J’son & Partners Consulting cited the example of a project BiP Turkish mobile operator Turkcell (the number of downloads by the end of the third quarter of 2016 exceeded 10 million). However, the ways to monetize a BiP are still unclear, it is specified in the study.

In J’son & Partners Consulting concluded that overall, the largest global messengers “significantly gain in popularity in the operator OTT apps, which tend to focus primarily on their own subscribers”.