According to a study by research firm Juniper, high IM traffic volumes are due to a number of factors, but chief among them is the fact that usage of IM apps is inherently different to usage of SMS. Users send up to 10 'chats' to convey a message which could be contained in a single SMS.
"Despite accounting for 75 per cent of the traffic (63 trillion messages) by 2018, IM apps will only generate 2 per cent of the mobile messaging market's revenue, at just over USD 3 billion," the research firm said.
Other factors like group conversations and emoticons also fuel traffic, it added.
Juniper, however added that IM apps continue to encounter difficulties in generating revenues on account of the infancy of the market.
Far East and China are expected to generate most traffic across all mobile messaging formats during the period.
The IM apps traffic is rising as more and more consumers are using their smartphones to go online.
According to digital marketer Global Web Index (GWI), mobile internet users rose by 19 per cent to over 994 million last year.
GWI conducts one of the world's largest study on connected consumers, covering 32 markets and 89 per cent of the global Internet audience.
It said that social apps and messenger apps in particular enjoyed considerable growth during 2013.
IM apps like WeChat, Kik Messenger, Snapchat, Kakao Talk, Line and WhatsApp led the growth last year, GWI added.