Samsung Electronics is discontinuing its ChatOn mobile-messaging service. Samsung said it would end support for the service in the first quarter of the next year in order to focus on other services in health, mobile commerce and other platforms.
ChatOn – which is preinstalled on Samsung’s phones but is also available to anyone on Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone – hit 100 million registered users in September 2013, but Samsung never disclosed how many active users it had. Making the generous assumption that half of its registered users are active each month, ChatOn has only 50 million monthly active users (MAUs), way below the 170 million MAUs on Line, the 209 million on Viber, the 500 million on WeChat, or the 600 million-plus on WhatsApp.
The Korean firm targeted ChatOn at India, China, and the US, but mobile users in the two Asian giants had other ideas as Indians leapt onto WhatsApp and China went nuts for WeChat. According to Samsung, the discontinuation is a result of “changing market conditions”.
The demise of ChatOn comes just days after Samsung’s decision to dissolve its Media Solution Center, the in-house software and services operation that created the app. As part of its annual reshuffling exercise, Samsung said that the unit would be integrated into other parts of the company.
Samsung has also issued a message to its users via the app to back up their chats and media beforehand. Here’s their message in full:
On February 1, 2015, ChatON will be discontinued in all markets except the United States, as we strive to meet evolving consumer needs by focusing on our core services. We remain committed to offering services that cater to our consumers’ lifestyles and add value to their everyday lives.
A Samsung spokesperson confirmed for us that the US version of the app will also be discontinued in Q1 of 2015 but an official date has not been set as of now.