IM communications overtake SMS for the first time in the UK

Published on 15 January 2014 by in Latest News

instant messaging CIM.1 IM communications overtake SMS for the first time in the UK A new survey has found that the use of OTT (over-the-top) messaging has overtaken text messaging in the United Kingdom. The research from Deloitte, discovered that the quantity of instant messaging totalled 160 billion in 2013, compared to 145 billion text messages.  It is the first time that the number of texts sent has declined (from 152 billion in 2012).

Deloitte is predicting that, in 2014, OTT messaging will reach 300 billion, compared to 140 billion text messages. However, the company still expects text messages to generate more than £60 billion in 2014 (almost 50 times the total revenue from all OTT services).

Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesperson from retailer Carphone Warehouse, said:

“With the massive increase in popularity of instant messaging apps, it’s not surprising that the number of texts sent has fallen so dramatically.instant messaging CIM IM communications overtake SMS for the first time in the UK

“We’ve seen significant change across our stores as customers are more interested in enquiring about a tariff’s data limits – and whether a phone comes with a free messaging app or function pre-installed – as opposed to the number of text messages and minutes available.”

The news is a reminder of the continuing evolution of the mobile market, with more consumers choosing to send correspondence via instant messaging services like WhatsApp. However, while the number of text messages is continuing to decline, the survey highlights behavioural differences between users, noting that text messages tend to be the default messaging service for communication when individuals favour different OTT applications.

The research then demonstrates the increasing fragmentation of the peer-to-peer communications market, with users choosing the medium most suited to their preferences. The continuing evolution of consumer interaction is something that CIM mangers should be aware of in order to offer the most relevant communications channel for their customers. 

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