Chat apps based messaging over takes texting

Research firm Informa have announced figures that show chat based applications have overtaken traditional SMS texting.

Informa stated that over 19 billion messages were sent through chat apps in 2012, compared to 17.6 billion SMS texts.

Chat apps such as WhatsApp, or Blackberry’s Messenger have surged in popularity over the last few years, but the figures could spell trouble for mobile phone service providers, as SMS’ are a key revenue source.

According to separate research by Ovum, more than £15bn ($23bn) of SMS revenue was lost in 2012 due to the popularity of chat apps.

Informas has said that the amount of messaging on chat apps would only grow in the coming years. They also predicted that nearly 50 million messages will be sent per day through using these apps, by 2014.

They also added that despite the number of chat app messages being sent, SMS will continue to remain a key player in the sector.

Pamela Clark-Dickson of Informa said: There is a lot of life still in SMS. [Users] don’t have mobile data plans, so there is an awfully big base of mobile phone users who are going to still find that SMS is the best messaging experience for them for a while.”

She also said that businesses were starting to look at SMS more seriously, as it can be used on all mobile phones, and smartphones are not needed.

Informa expects SMS revenue to grow by $127bn by 2016, up from $115bn in 2012.

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