BUSINESS APPLICATIONS OF CURRENT STATUS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR MOBILE INSTANT MESSAGING (IM) APPLICATIONS

Open Access
Author:
Kang, Seung Hee
Area of Honors:
Supply Chain and Information Systems
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • John Jordan, Thesis Supervisor
  • John C Spychalski, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • IM apps
  • WhatsApp
  • WeChat
  • LINE
Abstract:
As developed countries improve in mobile internet technology, more people are switching from accessing the Internet on laptops and desktops to mobile phones and tablets. Together with better smartphones and internet access around the world, instant messaging applications (IM apps) have grown in popularity exponentially. IM apps were accessed on the mobile phone by 75 percent of Internet users around the world as of 2015 (Statista). Despite the average retention rate of IM apps being much higher compared to the average of all other apps (Statista), IM apps are seldom considered as an opportunity. Through the study of WhatsApp, WeChat and LINEs’ MAU growth, profit model, services and cultural adaptations, differences in Asian-based IM apps and Western-based IM apps were noted. This could help businesses determine which IM app to consider when they try to advertise in a target country, considering the popular services provided by the apps and the mobile social penetration of the country. Strategies of successful m-commerce are discussed to keep up with the next trend of shopping online.