Text Messaging Featured Article

Text Messaging's 20th Birthday, and a Quarter-Life Crisis

December 04, 2012

Although older individuals may still have trouble grasping the concept of text messaging now and then, it’s not a new concept anymore. Monday, the text message will celebrate its twentieth birthday. 

But since technology years seem to work like amplified dog years, some suggest text messages are well past their prime.

According to Quentin Fortrell, “data suggests the text may soon share the fate of the fax.” People send an overwhelming number of texts each month, and for years, that number steadily rose. Now, the US Mobile Data Market Update, for the third quarter of 2012, shows that that number has dropped for the first time since the introduction of the SMS. 

In the third quarter, the number of text messages sent dropped to an average of 678 per month per person – a 3-percent drop.

Since people seem to pick up the phone and actually call each other less and less, it’s not that communicating through brief written messages has fallen out of favor. An increasing number of consumers are using services like Apple’s (News - Alert) iMessage and Google’s Google Voice. 

For those who still have BlackBerrys, its international popularity makes it easy to communicate with business contacts and friends overseas for free through BBM.

Linda Barrabee, an analyst with NDP Group, notes that “texting has been a very profitable business for carriers.” Now, however, “There’s less need to spend an extra $20 or $30 a month on text messaging plans.”

Cell phone carriers shouldn’t worry too much, since the platforms require that users both have the same type of phone, and more and more competitors are entering the Apple- and Android-dominated market as Windows Phone (News - Alert) begins to capture a market share,and Blackberry stages a comeback with Blackberry 10. 

People may be getting smarter about how they use their data, but text messaging isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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