Text Messaging Featured Article

Social Media Week Missed the Social Evolution; Text Messaging

February 17, 2012

Social Media Week is owned and operated by Crowdcentric Media LLC. Crowdcentric is a New York-based strategy firm that works at the intersection between media, communications and technology, helping organizations around the world establish deeper and more valuable relationships through crowd-accelerated innovation.

Annually, SMW attracts more than 60,000 attendees across thousands of individually organized events, with half a million connecting to the conference online and through mobile.  I am particularly appreciative of the option to attend virtually since I am stuck back at the office very far away and unable to attend; but thanks to LiveStream I am able to be there anyway.

But I said they missed the social evolution, and I am getting to that.

So, there was one particular event that I really wanted to catch; "Email and Social Media; The New Rules of Engagement," which was a panel event with four wonderful, and very insightful active users of email marketing, social media which included Gabby BernsteinNick HahnNoel DescalzJosh Mendelsohn and chaired by Wendi Caplan-Carroll.  They covered tons of great information that is extremely relevant to success with social media in particular. 

At one point, Nick Hahn made a statement in response to a question that text messaging among the younger generation is the communication of choice but he wasn’t sure how rich the texting platform is in comparison to email.  Basically he brought into question the validity and stamina of texting… well. 

Let's examine those numbers in comparison.  First let's examine the open rate of the two: 94 percent of text messages are received and read vs. less than 28 percent of emails. 5.5 billion text messages are sent every 24 Hours in the U.S. alone, and considering 85 percent of Americans own a cell phone but only 40 percent of those are smart devices, it is easier for all of them to receive a text message than an email. Then finally, 88 percent of adults 45 years old and younger would rather communicate via text message than by email, 45 or younger!  Go back to Nick Hahn's view point that it is the communication of choice to the 'younger generation' and ask yourself, is 45 really that young?  To me that's the median age of both successful adults as well as those who are in important decision making positions.

Now, let's look at Twitter.  Twitter, according to a statement released Thursday, has partnered with Iridium (News - Alert) and Thuraya, the world’s two largest satellite providers, to increase the number of people that can use Twitter SMS worldwide, so that people would be able to tweet when Internet is not available.  The new deal keeps Twitter (News - Alert) close to its original roots in SMS. See, when Twitter began in 2006, it was designed to utilize SMS to easily send a short message to a group of people. As the service grew, it launched its own platform aside from SMS.

This is where Social Media Week has missed the boat and let others down.  Text messaging has continuously grown every year since its inception in 1993, and is forecast to grow by 10 percent each quarter for the next six years.  RIM felt so strongly about it that Blackberry Messenger was born, Google (News - Alert) brought Google Voice into existence, Apple now has iMessage which utilizes text messaging on all iOS devices. It should be very evident that text messaging is not going anywhere soon and is very accepted by all.

So why, with all these stats and information available, doesn't Social Media Week have at least one event focused on text messaging?  Perhaps because it seems so bland or old, perhaps they are all complacent to text messaging or it's not one of those 'buzz' words. For certain I cannot answer that, but perhaps they will catch this article or it will help one of you to raise this question to them and bring awareness that they are missing the mark on this one.  I am even available to help them with it if they would like.

What about your thoughts?  What do you think?

David Vaughan is an industry veteran of telecom, now Director of Projects at TSG Global, Inc. To read more of David's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca
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