More Users Choosing Instant Messager Apps Over SMS


Mobile carriers have been weary about the ever growing popularity of Instant messaging apps over the past few years by offering special deals that include unlimited texts. It seems that all of the deals in the world couldn’t prevent the this out come from happening.

SMS losing out to IP-based Services 

In 2012 19 billion globally everyday messages were sent via instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp and BBM or Kik, compared to on 17.6 billion SMS messages. If the trend carry’s on like this by 2014 50 billion messages will be sent via a WhatsApp like service compared to a projected 21 billion SMS’s everyday globally.

It doesn’t look like Whatsapp has any intention of stopping, they have even made a deal with Nokia to provide their customers with free Whatsapp service in exchange for having a dedicated button on the keyboard of their newest phone the Asha 210.

The results probably aren’t the actually hard numbers that a fair test would show, for example iMessage is an instant messaging service from Apple so you can message your friends with iOS devices. The problem here is that iMessage is cannibalising the SMS results that would have shown iPhone to iPhone texts, that is my only gripe about the results.

Carriers Playing Catch Up 

Some carriers have jumped on to the instant messaging bandwagon so they don’t get left behind in the dust of the WhatsApp of the world, Telefonicas has released and app called Tu Go. This app allows you once setup to basically turn your tablet or iPod touch into your phone, send, receive messages or calls from the device. It is a nice concept but it has not been well received since you are still using you’re allotted texts from you contract.

Also the carriers need to realize why these apps are so popular, they allow you to communicate with your friends in different countries, networks ect. for free, this is because they use the internet to send the messages rather than a phone network.

SMS has served us well for the past twenty years but it looks like IP-based messaging is here to stay, so we better get used to it. The only thing that will change is which messaging service will become top dog and become ubiquitous.

Source – Gigaom