WhatsApp has overtaken Facebook as the leading mobile social messaging service of choice, with 44% of survey respondents saying that they use it once a week.
The five countries involved in the study by On Device included the US, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and China.
Mobile social messaging apps including WhatsApp, BBM and WeChat have come to define the way consumers converse via mobile, with 86% of smartphone owners using social messaging every day.
WeChat is the third most popular site, with 93% of smartphone users using it in China, and about 20% in Indonesia, 18% in South Africa and 6% in the US.
The report said: "Chat apps are now the dominant way of staying in touch on the phone.
"Daily usage of social messaging across the five countries stands at a massive 86%. That compares to 73% using their phones for voice calls, 75% using SMS and 60% using email."
Last month, a report from Mobile Marketing Magazine revealed that teenagers have been switching from Facebook to other social networking services including WhatsApp, WeChat and KakaoTalk.
Mobile messaging apps are gaining traction as they offer more private sharing space, reports suggest.
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