New research, undertaken for the Financial Times, indicates that chat applications like WhatsApp and BBM surpassed SMS messages in volume for the first time at the end of 2012.
The FT report credits the telecoms and media consultancy who conducted the research, Informa, as stating that “[t]here were more instant messages being sent daily by the end of last year than there were text messages.” So-called “over the top” messaging, as employed by chat apps, is expected to be more than double that of SMS messages, reaching 41 billion data-driven missives a day.
Informa expects traditional SMS messages to rake in more than $120 billion in 2013, despite being outmatched by the largely-free chat applications, but Informa senior analyst Pamela Clark-Dickson has pointed out that many markets are increasing their reliance on alternatives to SMS. This will likely spell trouble for mobile service providers, who will have their work cut out competing with what is essentially a free service.
Source: The Verge