WhatsApp leapfrogs Facebook as the most popular mobile messaging service

WhatsApp is believed to now be the most popular messaging service

Messenger service WhatsApp has leapfrogged Facebook to become the leading mobile social messaging service.

According to the results of a survey of nearly 4,000 smartphone users in five countries, 44 per cent used WhatsApp at least once a week, compared to 35 per cent using Facebook messenger.

On Device’s report revealed that social messaging apps, such as WhatsApp, BBM and WeChat, dominated the way people communicate via mobile, eclipsing calls and texts with 86 per cent using social messaging daily. 73 per cent, 75 per cent and 60 per cent said they used their handset daily for voice calls, SMS and email respectively.

Back in April, WhatsApp chief executive Jan Koum said the service had more users than Twitter and carried more messages than Facebook.

The paid-for app (which costs 69p to download in the UK, with a further 65p charge per year) does not carry advertising like its other social media counterparts.

“We do have a manifesto opposing advertising. We’re so bombarded with ads so much in our daily lives that smartphones aren’t the place for that. Our phones are so intimately connected to us, to our lives,” said Koum.

The survey also found SnapChat – which recently turned down a $3bn (£1.8bn) buyout offer from Facebook – users were mostly 16-24 year olds in the US, the same age-range which research suggests is turning its back on Facebook.