Australians are increasingly turning to online private messaging services to keep in touch with each other, and are overwhelmingly choosing services provided by Facebook and Apple, reported the Australian watchdog.
The ACCC’s first Digital Platform Services Inquiry interim report, shows how the use of online private messaging services has grown significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, as workplaces and schools moved to remote access and people sought alternatives to face-to-face communication.
The report examines the use of online private messaging services in Australia, updates previous ACCC findings on social media and search services and identifies competition and consumer issues across digital platforms.
Facebook Messenger had an estimated 14.7 million monthly active users in Australia in June 2020, while Facebook-owned WhatsApp had an estimated 8 million monthly active users.
Apple enables its iMessage service by default through its Messages app which, along with FaceTime, is pre-installed on iPhones, and may be used on other Apple devices. Approximately half of the mobile operating systems used in Australia are Apple iOS.
“Australians have embraced the use of online private messaging apps, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Australian consumers use a range of messaging services during the day,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.
Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.