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Asian Influence In Messaging Apps


I'm not a big mobile messaging app user, but lately I've heard the following and want to hear more about your thoughts on this:

1 - MessageMe is very similar to Whatsapp, which has very high growth in India.

2 - Path is very similar to Line (Japan), Kakao (Korea), and WeChat (China).

What I'm curious to learn more about is -- why are western apps in this category being influenced by their Asian counterparts? What's the bigger trend here, or is this just a fad for this category?

Stashed in: Mobile!, iPhone!, Path, @semil, Valuation

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I didn't realize Path was so similar to Line, Kakao, and WeChat until I saw this:

Path 3.0 is Inspired by Asian Chat Apps

Line has stickers:

Path 3.0 is Inspired by Asian Chat Apps

So does Cubie:

Path 3.0 is Inspired by Asian Chat Apps

And now so does Path:

Path 3.0 is Inspired by Asian Chat Apps

Source of these comparisons:

http://thenextweb.com/asia/2013/03/07/path-3-0-inspired-by-asia/

Why are Western apps influenced by their Asian counterparts?

Because the Asian counterparts make a lot of money.

By the way, Kakao has as many users in the U.S. as Path does: 3 million.

And both of them are looking more like WeChat everyday:

What WeChat's frantic global expansion means for the US | PandoDailyPandoDaily

More: http://pandodaily.com/2013/02/28/what-wechats-frantic-global-expansion-means-for-the-us/

Facebook looks more like WeChat every day | PandoDailyPandoDaily

Even Facebook is becoming like WeChat:

http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/29/facebook-looks-more-like-wechat-every-day/

According to a friend who uses WeChat, similarities are superficial and WeChat is far superior.

Yes. So aside from money/revenue model, why is this all happening -- what is the bigger trend?

There's furious competition in the space right now...

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/19/messageme-2/

...because the winner will have high engagement and possibly the scale of Facebook.

This does feel like a winner-take-all situation.

Probably why Facebook cut off MessageMe. 

And in a WTA situation, what are the chances in your opinion the winner is not from the US? Will western users default use an Asian app?

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