Death of SMS – Is Facebook Messenger the Murderer? (via @jkhowland)

The New York Times Bits blog recently posted an article regarding the results of a telecommunications consulting firm report.

A research note last Friday reported that “based on measured minutes of use, smartphone users were spending more time on Facebook and thus probably sending more messages with it’s service than they are text messages.”

Real Numbers

It’s clear that SMS text messages are being sent less each year. Multiple reports have found steep declines in text messaging.

For example, cellphone users in the Philippines, one of the top texting nations, sent roughly 400 text messages a month each in 2011, down from about 660 a month in 2010, according to a study by Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst.

Drawing Conclusions

Strand is drawing a conclusion here. I’m not sure if it’s the right one.

“Many operators are seeing an increasing number of customers moving their SMS traffic over to Facebook, resulting in their SMS cash cow getting thinner and thinner,” Strand Consult wrote in its research note.

The problem is that ‘spending more time on Facebook’ so they are ‘probably sending more messages’ isn’t scientific at all. It certainly isn’t conclusive.

Death of SMS

The report by Chetan Sharma points out that it could be Internet messaging services like Skype, iMessage and Google Voice. Facebook Messaging is also likely. I don’t think it’s any of these ‘other’ messaging services.

Social Media changes the way we communicate. It’s not so back and forth and linear anymore. Anecdotally, a friend of mine just found out the gender of her baby and decided to make a video, and share it online rather than text everyone the news. They didn’t use Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Google Voice or Skype. They used a number of Social Media outlets in one to communicate, and the victim was SMS.

Text Messaging is dying. But it isn’t because we’re using a different form a linear communication.

Image Source: Hacked Life

Joshua Howland

Joshua is a mobile application developer, entrepreneur, and technology enthusiast. His favorite posts are comparing companies and products. He’s pretty good at predicting what Apple has up its sleeves too. He loves sports and business and talks about them (along with tech) on Twitter (@jkhowland).

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