The number of SMS text messages sent in the UK fell last year, according to reports that quote the latest technology predictions from consultancy firm Deloitte. It’s the country’s first-ever annual fall in SMS volume.
Messages peaked in 2012, with around 152 billion sent, but Deloitte estimates this figure fell last year to 145 billion. A further fall to 140 billion is expected this year.
The drop is thought to have resulted from the increased adoption of internet-based instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat, alongside BlackBerry BBM and Apple iMessage.
Deloitte’s report says instant messaging overtook SMS in the UK last year, with 160 billion instant messages sent. It’s thought that 300 billion instant messages will be sent in the UK this year - and 18 trillion worldwide.
Louise O’Sullivan, CEO of text messaging specialist Anam Technologies, said “Although the amount of text messages sent saw a decline in 2013, according to Deloitte’s research, there is still a huge market for it, with text messaging likely to remain as the de facto standard of communication for many whether it is for social or business use. Whilst the rise of mobile chat applications is not a surprise, particularly in Western Europe and developed countries where there has been a proliferation of smartphones, there is still a lot of life left in SMS messaging.”
“Specifically, we are still seeing messaging volumes increasing in many of the emerging markets, where there is an increasing subscriber base, a lack of mobile data plans, and users on legacy devices which are unable to access chat applications. As a result, SMS is the only option should they wish to communicate as it is built-in and integrated onto all mobile devices.”
“What the research does not expose is the shift of emphasis that is going on behind the scenes in the SMS world. As predicted we are seeing some reduction in the overall volume of person to person SMS but there is massive growth potential in enterprise Application-to-Person SMS which includes uses such as marketing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and where the security & traceability attributes of SMS are key factors.”
[More details: The Guardian; Telegraph]