Why Texting Is Dying Out

The cool kids have found a new way to talk.

This guy probably isn't sending a text message.
National Journal
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Alex Brown
Jan. 13, 2014, 10:31 a.m.

For the first time in two dec­ades, the num­ber of text mes­sages sent has de­clined — at least in the U.K.

A De­loitte study shows that SMS (stand­ard mes­saging ser­vice) mes­sages de­clined by 7 bil­lion last year, to 145 bil­lion. Mean­while, mes­sages sent by in­stant-mes­saging apps have spiked dra­mat­ic­ally. Roughly 50 bil­lion IMs were sent in 2012, which grew to ex­ceed 150 bil­lion last year. IMs are ex­pec­ted to total nearly 300 bil­lion this year.

Thanks to ser­vices like iMes­sage, Face­book Mes­sen­ger, Snapchat, and What­s­app, use of the tra­di­tion­al text has fi­nally star­ted to drop off. And while it’s ex­pec­ted to de­cline again this year, SMS prob­ably won’t be go­ing any­where for a while. Tex­ting is still re­spons­ible for 98 per­cent of mo­bile phone com­pan­ies’ rev­en­ue, and its uni­ver­sal­ity world­wide means it re­mains in­dis­pens­able for most phone users.

Some­what pre­dict­ably, young­er users were re­spons­ible for much of the spike in IMs, while older smart­phone own­ers still tend to use tra­di­tion­al text mes­sages.

The study was first re­por­ted by the Daily Mail.