There are loads of free messaging apps on the market these days – WhatsApp, Viber, Kik, BBM and even Apple’s own iMessage. The problem for telcos is, these apps are getting so popular that they’re eating away at the their SMS revenues which are traditionally massive – even if they are a bit of a scam.
Informa, a telecom and media consultancy firm has put together some data for the Financial Times that shows offerings from major companies like Blackberry Messenger, Apple’s iMessage and Samsung’s ChatON – have overtaken SMS as the preferred way to send text messages.
The report said that almost 19 billion messages were sent per day using these messaging apps in 2012 – compared to the 17.6 billion SMS messages.
By the end of next year, Informa expects that 50 billion messages will be sent per day by free messaging apps, compared to just over 21 billion via traditional SMS messaging.
This growth means that SMS messaging isn’t dying… yet anyway. The reason being is that SMS remains the one ubiquitous messaging system between all mobile devices. It doesn’t require you to install anything, and it doesn’t limit you to messaging to certain mobile devices – you can use it to send to any phone on the planet, no matter how old or advanced your device or your recipients device is.
SMS has been around for 21 years in December, and it looks like it still has a few more years in it before it finally is killed by messaging apps. Once technology everywhere catches up, though – that will be the end of its life.