Rumours of my Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated – SMS Text Message

Posted by Sally Burley on Mar 3, 2017 2:43:00 PM


You may be surprised to find out what the single, most widely used phone app is on the planet.  Not one handset exists without this capability and it is used daily by around 7.3 billion mobile owners. 

It is of course the humble text message.  Pressed into use by early mobile adopters as a cheap way to talk when voice contracts were more expensive, it has survived the last couple of decades as one of the most significant communication mediums.  Today though OTT services like WhatsApp and smartphone messaging services like iMessage and have seized many heavy text users, bringing the year on year increase of SMS messages sent to more of a plateau.  However, we aren’t going to witness the death of SMS any time soon.  January 2015 saw 1 billion messages sent every hour (that’s around 300,000 per second) and with annual revenues of $139 million its usage is still highly relevant and significant.

In fact, there are some areas where text usage is actually still on the rise.  The majority of businesses are still in the early primordial soup when it comes to customer communications on mobile, but the numbers beginning to do this to better support and engage with their customers is growing.  With the focus for customer interaction firmly stolen by the explosion of smartphone Apps over the last few years,  it has taken a while for the scales to fall from marketing executives eyes and realise that you shouldn’t default to having ‘an App for that’.  For many businesses an app just isn’t going to be the best way to engage their customer base.  Only a few key Apps for banking, social media and online shopping have the sticking power to remain installed and see daily interaction, the hopes for many of engaging their customer base this way is unfortunately in the realms of unicorn ownership.

The good news is that SMS is still as relevant today as it has always been. 100% handset reach around the globe and with 97% of text messages are actually read within 5 seconds of receipt (Ofcom) they are much more likely to be acted upon.  Whatever the future may hold for the text message though, the Synapta Mobile Engagement Platform will be ready to connect with customers for a more rewarding and engaging experience.  With support for messaging and instant notifications and the option to connect to other OTT platforms you need never be out of touch with your customers. Talk to us today about your next campaign.

Sources: Ofcom, Tomi Ahonen

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