Samsung is shutting down its would-be WhatsApp-competitor ChatOn in all markets in the first quarter of 2015. The app will be shutting down for most countries on February 1st, although it will live on a little longer in America before being closed some time before the end of March, reports The Wall Street Journal. Although the South Korean company was able to boast that ChatOn had attracted more than 100 million users since its 2011 launch (thanks, in part, to it coming pre-loaded on all Samsung smartphones) time has proved that ubiquity is not the same as popularity, with one survey finding that users spent just 6 seconds in the app per month.
Samsung's whole business is struggling: now is not the time to support failing apps
In an earlier report on the product’s closure, officials had reportedly concluded that messaging just wasn’t "a business that can show improvement in the future." The closure is symptomatic of the company’s wider problems, with both sales and profitability falling this year and Samsung’s apps being sidelined in favor of rivals’ products such as KakaoTalk, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram. The company's brief golden age may have allowed it to throw good money after bad on difficult software ventures, but it's clear now that Samsung can't rely on instantly converting smartphone buyers to loyal app users.