This is not a zero sum game

by Volker Weber

After Facebook bought WhatsApp, there have been many comparisons between usage numbers from the likes of KakaoTalk, Line, Viber, WeChat. Many of the small players often mentioned in Germany like ChatSecure, Threema, surespot, Telegram also reported tremendous growth rates (from a very low starting population). The game in on. All numbers are up.

Two things to keep in mind:

  1. This is not a zero sum game. I am registered on many platforms without using them.
  2. Monthly active users and messages are meaningful benchmarks. Registered users are not.

The big loser in this game is SMS. Paying by the message is a business model on its last legs.


After SMS, the next victim is the regular phone call. Telco's need to update their business model fast.

Frank van Rijt, 2014-02-26

I have a SIM from T-Mobile USA. Unlimited talk, unlimited SMS, unlimited data, 200 MB at 4G, each day, $3 when used. I like this model.

Volker Weber, 2014-02-26

Volker, can you elaborate a bit more on what you are trying to say with "unlimited data, 200MB at 4G"? Once you reach the 200MB threshold the rest of the unlimited data is delivered at 3G?

Philipp Sury, 2014-02-27

You can look it up at I never made it even close to 200 MB.

Volker Weber, 2014-02-27

Thanks for the tip. I will take a deeper look into that offer!

Oliver Schult, 2014-02-28

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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