This year, 1.4 billion consumers are expected to use mobile phone messaging apps, a 31.6-percent increase from the year before. The forecast, from digital marketing researchers at eMarketer, suggests that worldwide, 75 percent of smartphone users will use a mobile messaging app—services that provide private one-to-one or one-to-many communication between registered users, where messages and calls are then transmitted via data connections and the mobile web—at least once a month in 2015.

eMarketer expects this growth to continue, and projects that by 2018 the number of users will reach two billion, representing 80 percent of smartphone users.

“Some of the key drivers of mobile messaging’s growth identified include consumers’ growing interest in intimate forums for social sharing, the multiple modes of communication offered by messaging apps and the growing number of features offered, including peer-to-peer payments and ecommerce,” says Cathy Boyle, senior analyst, mobile.

For more on eMarketer’s forecast, click here.