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Sign of the Times: Text Messaging in Decline, iMessage Partly to Blame


Chetan Sharma, an independent analyst, has suggested that text messaging is declining in the US. He found that mobile phone owners in the US, on average sent 678 text messages per month in Q3 of 2012. This was down from 696 text messages per month in Q2 of 2012.

This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you consider that this is the first time that number has not increased. Sharma points to alternative messaging service such as Facebook and iMessage as reasons for the stagnation. When you consider how many iPhones and Facebook accounts are in existence, this really shouldn’t be a surprising revelation.

Personally, I think this is fantastic. More and more people are able to communicate instantly, without any real cost, with anyone on the planet. Communication like this, facilitates the exchange of ideas, which in turn leads to innovation and creation. It’s phenomenal stuff, and you don’t even have to pay a cellular carrier for the privilege. Apple, and other tech companies, are doing great work in this regard.

On the other side of this coin, we also must remember that these numbers are the findings of one analyst, and this is the first, and very well could be the only, time that text messaging has seen a decline. It could be too early to tell on regarding this subject, but my gut says Sharma is on to something.

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  • There are so many IM and messaging options out there. It’s good that people have caught on that they are paying $10 a month for something they can have for free. I personally use a mix of Google Talk and Google Voice for Texting so it’s free for me anyway.