FREE messaging apps like WhatsApp – the favoured app among expats to keep in touch with family and friends back home – has gained so much popularity in Spain that the country is now the EU’s biggest user of free texting apps.
An incredible 98 per cent of smartphones in Spain have a messaging application such as WhatsApp, thanks mainly to the high cost of sending SMS messages when the technology was introduced in the country, according to a recent report by the CNMC market watchdog.
Instant messaging grew by 206 per cent in Spain in the last two years, reports El Pais, and seven out of 10 Spaniards between 16 and 34 have an internet connection on their phone, 10 points above the EU average.
“There are no sociological studies that scientifically explain why instant messaging is so ingrained in Spain,” said the CNMC report. “In general it can be said that there is a tendency to trust in friends and family members who recommend a mobile or social networking application, the use of which is often a talking point. These are two factors that contribute to the fact that user numbers have risen very quickly.”
The January report reveals that 51.5 per cent of Spanish mobile phone users send messages every day by apps such as WhatsApp.