R-Insights Research Company summarized the results of a nationwide tracking survey implemented among about 10000 respondents. The research uncovered usage of the most popular mobile messenger applications in the country, the profile of consumer groups, and the consumption trends after COVID-19 outbreak. Data was collected in the period of November 28, 2019 to June 28, 2020 via telephone interviews (CATI), with an average of 360 sample units per week (data collection process was interrupted during March 15-31). The survey was conducted among the population of Armenia aged 15-64, among the subscribers of all mobile operators. The data was weighed based on the main social-demographic parameters.
In the framework of this research, mobile messenger application “users” are defined to be those who have used at least one mobile messenger application on their mobile phones during the 30 days preceding the interview.
Research results show that 86% of the population have used at least one mobile messenger application as of the whole observed period.
During the lockdown period, the usage of mobile messenger applications increased by 3 percentage points. In the “before the lockdown” period, mobile messenger application usage accounted for 85%, increased to 88% during the lockdown period, then the proportion of users returned to initial 85% after the lockdown.
Obvious differences have been observed in consumption patterns of different age groups. The consumption is the heaviest among young: 97% of 15-19 year-olds use at least one mobile messenger application. It is nearly the same in 20-24 and 25-34 age groups. The share of users is significantly lower in the 55+ age groups, reaching 63% in the group of 60-64 year-olds. The differences between age groups are statistically significant.
Messenger application usage is higher among women (89%) as compared with men (82%).
The share of users in the capital Yerevan (88%) is higher than in other urban areas (87%) and rural areas (83%).
Viber is the most popular mobile messenger among Armenians; 78% of respondents reported to use this application. In terms of share of usage, Viber is followed by Facebook messenger (70%) and by WhatsApp (52%).
In general, the 5 most popular mobile messenger applications in Armenia are Viber, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram and Zangi.
13% of population in Armenia use Telegram application.
Consumption dynamics of the mentioned applications from December 2019 to June 2020 shows that usage of Facebook messenger increased by 7 percentage pointsi n April. Usage of Viber increased by 4 percentage points.
Interestingly, the usage of some mobile messenger applications has declined since the lockdown was lifted. In particular, in June, the share of Facebook messenger users decreased compared to April-May, reaching 69% compared to 72%. In fact, in June the usage proportion became equivalent to the metrics recorded in February 2020.
Trends of messenger application usage over three time periods show that during the lockdown period usage of Facebook messenger grew the most, moving from 68% to 72%. In terms of usage growth, Facebook messenger is followed by WhatsApp, Telegram and Viber (the share of users increased by 3.5, 3 and 2 percentage points respectively).
The usage of specific mobile messenger applications varies based on gender, place of residence and age.
The most popular mobile application in all groups is Viber.
Viber, Facebook, Zangi and Google Hangouts are more common among women, while Telegram and WhatsApp are common among men.
The most popular apps for 15-19 year olds are Viber and Instagram, while among the other age groups, the most widely used ones are Viber and Facebook messenger. Although 15-19 age group had the smallest share of messenger non-users, the 20-24 age group stands out with the diversity of messenger app usage.
In April, there was a higher growth in mobile messaging applications among women compared to men. In comparison with the previous months, the usage of Viber, Facebook and WhatsApp increased in April, especially among women. In addiyion, Viber and Facebook messenger usage increased among men.
There has been a slight increase in the number of users of mobile messenger applications in Yerevan. Here the usage of Facebook messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram applications has increased since April, while no drastic changes were observed in other urban areas and rural settlements. In Yerevan, the proportion of users of mobile messenger applications increased noticeably in April, reaching 91%. The latter, however, gradually decreased in May-June, amounting to 86% as of June.