There are many different ways to measure the success of social networks; while we most often focus on user numbers and growth, there’s also value in determining the pure amount of messages or data being sent through a particular platform. New data from Sandvine finds that according to this metric – volume of messages – the ephemeral messaging service Snapchat is dominating competitor WhatsApp.
The study labels Snapchat as the “top third-party messaging app in North America by volume.” This high volume is the result of Snapchat’s focus on “data-heavy features,” including picture and video messaging; simple text messages on WhatsApp don’t add up to as much network traffic. Until a recent update, Snapchat users could only send photos; will these numbers change now that Snapchat users can send simple chat messages?
Snapchat’s message volume is still small compared to video apps, which “dominate Sandvine’s North American top-10 list for network traffic both for fixed and mobile carriers.” (TechCrunch) The report pulled out both Snapchat and Twitch.TV (where users can watch other playing video games) as top-ranked apps worldwide; “Twitch.TV…now generates more traffic than HBO Go in the U.S. Snapchat on the other hand has seen high traffic volumes on many mobile networks due to the fact it only allows subscribers to send picture messages, while competing services such as WhatsApp allow users to send plain text.”
We like how TechCrunch sums it up: “In other words, popularity + media type = major traffic influence.”
Sandvine’s data comes from monitoring network traffic across a number of its mobile and fixed carrier customers.