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June 25, 2014

SMS vs. Messaging: Where are we headed?

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Several studies released over the past few days have reported seemingly conflicting numbers regarding use of SMS vs. messaging apps. 

In a recent study by Niche, 7,000 graduating high school seniors were asked to rank 50 popular apps and websites based on frequency of usage. Results showed that texting trumps any single messaging service among this demographic.

Compare those findings to others recently published worldwide: 
– During the first five months of this year, SMS messaging saw a year-over-year decline of 18.4%, according to data from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Sent texts declined by 30.6% after continued growth in preceding years. Chinese users are replacing traditional SMS services with messaging apps such as WeChat and Sina Weibo. 

In the UK in 2013, 145 billion SMS messages were sent, down by 7 billion. Instant messages rose to 160 billion. 
– Irish communications watchdog, Comreg, reported a 25% dip in SMS messages in the first three months of the year (2.02 billion) compared to the same period a year ago, due in part to the rise of messaging apps. 
– During 2013-14, India’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, Bharti Airtel, reported a drop of 4.5% in revenue from SMS messaging. That was 5.6% of overall mobile revenue and down from 9.1% in 2012-13. Over the period, data as a percentage of Bharti Airtel’s mobile revenue almost doubled to 11.1% from 6.5%. 
When compared, these statistics fly in the face of the commonly held perception of teens as early adopters; texting is still king among teens while older populations are moving to messaging apps in droves.
How do you interperate these inconsistent numbers?
Have you and your circle of friends/family dropped SMS for messaging?