Why text messaging is here to stay

1130221 autosave v1 2 what does the future hold for text messaging color

Last week the text message celebrated its 20th birthday. Since 1992, it’s grown into an essential part of our everyday lives. How long it will last is the big question. Recent news from Chetan Sharma says that the service, while still 70 billion messages a month strong, saw a serious decline in the last few months, likely due to new services like Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage. So the question is posed: What is the future of the text message? Does it lie with SMS or Internet messaging programs?

why text messages wont die textingstats

Some believe that the SMS text isn’t going anywhere. Bill Tancer of Experian Marketing Services is one of them. As far as he’s concerned, the text message is the gold standard and we’re in no hurry to abandon it. Tancer told us that recent research shows that the future of our market relies heavily on the young, and that they haven’t stopped text messaging, but they are using a number of new services. Apple’s iMessage service, Google Talk, Kik, and Facebook Messenger are all major options for mobile communication just like the text message. They’ve all made some inroads against traditional texting, but they remain stuck against an important element: ubiquity. Texting is available on every phone, by every wireless carrier made, by every phone manufacturer, running every operating system. It’s everywhere

No service currently carries the same ubiquity as the text message, and that the ability to send messages to any phone number is still an unmatched feature compared to the text message’s closest competition.

“Users will always gravitate to a richer experience,” Tancer said, but “SMS is the backbone” of our mobile experience, and it won’t be going away until other services become much more relevant to the majority of mobile users.

Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, agrees. Just like the phone call, the text message is ubiquitous because of its relation to the phone number, and the two are still fundamental parts of the mobile experience. To compete, Alex states that new services and technology should be”optimizing around

,” and offer a niche experience that supplements it. The real future for messaging as a whole, he thinks, is about finding the right method for the right moment, and figuring out which tool in your mobile arsenal you want to use to send a message: a phone call, a YouMail voice message, an iMessage, or a text message.

hands on with ios 5 imessage 2Still, it’s hard to ignore services such as Apple’s iMessage, which continues to grow rapidly. iMessage alone is sending an impressive 1 billion text messages a month among 140 million users – a noticeable dent on the 70 billion traditional text messages sent. A big reason behind this is probably the fact that iPhones are inclined to use iMessage over traditional text messaging when communicating with other iPhones, iPads, and iMacs, and Apple’s gradual movement to encourage users of their new service is going to exponential increase the prevalence of the software in the coming year, especially when it looks just like a regular text message on the iPhone.

Kik thinks it can defeat the text message and all competitors by simply being better. “Kik adds value that SMS and competitors do not,” a representative said in an e-mailed statement. The features that Kik offers including read receipts, comprehensive group messaging, and HTML5-based Kik Card technology. According to Kik’s site, Kik Cards “let you do even more with Kik” like “search for and send YouTube videos, find and share images, and create sketches.” 

With more 30 million registered users and an impressive 100,000 new ones joining every day, it’s hard to ignore the momentum that Kik has. It, along with iMessage and Facebook Message all have increasing relevance in day to day communication. Despite this though, Experian’s data strongly suggests that instead of replacing SMS texting, we’re all just using texts along with a bunch of new alternatives. Why choose when you can have them all? 

Despite all that iMessage, Kik, Facebook, and YouMail offer, the text message leaves its 20th birthday with a healthy chance it could hit a ripe old age. Its growth may not be what it used to, but as we all weave and bob through each new texting competitor that comes and goes, we always know that we can come back to SMS. You’re 20, text message. Walk tall.

(image via)

Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Mobile

Apple and Qualcomm settle all disputes, reach six-year agreement on chips

Apple and Qualcomm have announced that they have settled all disputes between them around the world -- and not only that, but have also agreed to a six-year agreement for Qualcomm to supply Apple with chips.
Mobile

The Department of Justice may prevent the T-Mobile-Sprint merger

T-Mobile and Sprint are getting closer to merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. The new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
Mobile

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the U.S. with T-Mobile

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

Spruce up your Lenovo smartphone with the best Moto Mods for the Moto Z-series

Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories compatible with Lenovo's Moto Z-series smartphones add a lot of value without adding a lot of bulk. Looking to try one out? Here are a few of our favorite Moto Mods.
Mobile

The Pixel 3 range will soon be coming to T-Mobile's network

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
Mobile

Keep your new iPad (2018) sparkling with the best screen protectors

Your iPad sports a stunning 9.7-inch screen and you'll want it to stay that way. The best iPad (2018) screen protectors guard against cracks, scratches, and even smudging from your fingers. Check out our top picks here.
Mobile

Intel gives up on 5G modems for smartphones, will focus on other devices

After a delay that saw Intel's manufacture of 5G modems pushed back to 2020, Intel has given up on the 5G modem business, and will focus its efforts elsewhere. But is something else to blame?
Mobile

The black satin Razer Phone 2 is now available for $500

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Mobile

The best LG G7 ThinQ cases will keep your phone looking new

The LG G7 ThinQ comes with a powerful processor, versatile cameras, and amazing sound. But a powerful phone still needs protection and you might want to change the style. Here are the best LG G7 ThinQ cases.
Mobile

Multiple phone leaks show May 21 is going to be a big day for Honor

Honor will launch at least one new smartphone on May 21, at an event taking place in London. Leaks have indicated the Honor 20 will take center stage, with a Lite version, and perhaps even another model also showing up on the day.