March Madness is underway and the guys at Apptopia have made a bracket of their own called March Appness 2017. They have taken 32 messaging apps and pitted them against one another to determine which one would be the best of all the communication apps. They first had to decide on the criteria that would determine who would win and where each app would be seeded, so they've divided the apps into four categories of similar products, with each category having its own top seed. The categories included legacy chat apps, newer group video apps, security-focused apps, and phone substitutions. The apps that earned the place in the top seed were WhatsApp, Snapchat, Telegram, and Skype. Seeding was set according to total worldwide downloads in the last six months. The website also used total engagement over the same timeframe based on Apptopia's estimates to determine who would win each matchup.
Regarding legacy apps, WhatsApp, Facebook's Messenger, TextNow, and Line made their way to the Sweet 16, while the newer group video apps that advanced in the first round were Snapchat, Marco Polo, Tribe, and Airtime. Over in the security apps, ChatsScure, Silent Phone, Dust, and Wickr Me prevailed in the initial round and Skype, Camfrog, IMO, and ooVoo were victorious in the phone substitutions category. In the Sweet 16 round, the crowd dwindled down to eight with WhatsApp, TextNow, SnapChat, Tribe, Silent Phone, Dust, Skype, and ooVoo all advancing. In typical March Madness style, we saw the underdog Dust come out of nowhere, win the security apps category, and make the Final Four along with Skype, WhatsApp, and Snapchat. In the end, Skype and WhatsApp ended up in the finals while WhatsApp ended up being the winner of March Appness 2017.
The biggest surprise in the tournament was Dust advancing as far as it did in a category that included the popular messaging app Signal. The app that is backed by Mark Cuban was one of the least downloaded apps in the tournament, yet it boasted enough recent user engagement to sneak past its competitors. Other notable apps in the list were GroupMe, Voxer, WeChat, Kik, Signal, Viber, Tango, and Microsoft's Team.