February 5, 2014
Text Me: SMS Still Crushing It After 20 Years
SMS text messaging is and will remain the most ubiquitous medium for messaging. There already are 326 million text enabled mobile numbers in the U.S., and according to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 81 percent of mobile consumers use their phone to send and receive text messages. Wired reports.
There has been a lot of attention lately on new “over-the-top” (OTT) messaging platforms and how those apps are giving traditional SMS a run for its money. The OTT fans point to the uniqueness of the applications and how innovative they are: They let users sign in with a name instead of a number. They facilitate group messaging. They let you play interactive games with and send photos to your friends.
It’s true that tens of millions of people (the vast majority of them teenagers) are signing up for these services to give them a try. Why not? They’re the new shiny objects, they’re intriguing, they’re fun — and they’re free.
But are these OTT services truly a threat to the prominence of the SMS medium overall? Are these novelty services ever going to replace text messaging as the preferred form of high priority communications? Absolutely not. When people need to send and receive important messages, they’re going to use the native SMS app on their device that sends a message from the phone number everyone knows.
Everyone is texting. With the evolution of the SMS platform, they can now text to and from any number, to and from any connected device.
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