In Pew Research Center’s latest report, the institute has broken out messaging apps for the first time, asking about them as something separate from texting in its survey of how Americans use social media.
It turns out they’re already a firm part of our mobile activity.
Around 36 per cent use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik or iMessage, and 17 per cent use apps like Snapchat, that delete messages after they’re sent.
Both types of apps are particularly popular among 18-29 year olds.
Pew also looked at other social media platforms, and found that although Facebook and Twitter’s growth is beginning to stagnate, visual sites like Pinterest and Twitter have doubled their users in the past three years.