Free messaging apps are a dime a dozen these days. There’s everything from Viber, to Skype, to WhatsApp to GroupMe. But while these startups concentrated on smartphone apps, it has been in the emerging markets that messaging over data has made a huge impression, and that has required paying attention to feature phones which use Java apps. We saw appear only last year in Africa for instance. So starting way back in 2006, this is exactly what Nimbuzz, a startup originally from the Netherlands, did. And that strategy is paying off. Today it announces that it has just passed 150 million users globally and is doubling its users year on year.

Indeed, the growth is such that AC Nielsen now thinks Nimbuzz is putting the heat on Facebook messenger in Asia and especially in India, according to the latest Nielsen India Rankings. These put Nimbuzz into the top…

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