Business Technology

Saturday 24 February 2018

Death of the text message? WhatsApp and Facebook messages outstrip texts by three times


Cara McGoogan

People sent three times as many messages on Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp in 2015 than they did via SMS.

Facebook has revealed that its two messaging platforms process 60 billion messages a day, almost three times the 23 billion SMS messages that are sent every day. 

WhatsApp outstripped SMS just over a year ago, when Facebook announced that the messaging app handled 30 billion messages every day, compared to 20 billion sent through SMS.

With Facebook Messenger rapidly becoming a main contender in the fight to be the most popular way to message, the social media giant has

Facebook's Messenger app is the fastest-growing platform in the company's repertoire. Growing faster than the likes of WhatsApp and Instagram, the number of people on Messenger rocketed from 800 million to 900 million in the first four months of 2016, closing the gap with WhatsApp, which hit one billion users in February.

Facebook revealed the figures at its F8 developer's conference in San Francisco this month.

Death of SMS?

With the rise of Wi-Fi and 4G, internet-connected messaging apps have kicked off the slow death of the humble SMS message. Texts can be expensive on some contracts, require a mobile signal, and don't have advanced features such as group chats and file sharing.

The number of text messages sent every year has steadily increased, with 8.6 trillion sent in 2016 up from 8 trillion in 2012, but it has failed to keep pace with the proportional growth of mobile phones.

As text message usage drops, Silicon Valley giants continue to innovate with messaging apps.

Facebook and Microsoft, for example, are introducing bots into Messenger and Skype respectively in the hope that messaging apps will replace not only SMS, but all apps.

And Google recently announced that it is teaming up with Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and America Movil to make "Rich Communications Services", the much-anticipated successor to SMS, a reality.

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