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Are We Texting More or Less?

Published on November 13, 2012

Simple Texting

Rumors of texting’s demise are greatly exaggerated. A recent report, first spotted by The New York Times, makes the dubious claim that text messaging has declined in the U.S. for the first time—ever.

Not so fast. The truth is a bit more complex. People aren’t texting less, they’re just finding ways to get around their carrier. How? Through applications like iMessage, which allow iPhone-to-iPhone texts to be sent as data, circumventing carriers’ messaging quotas.

The report states that “the decline is primarily due to the rise in IP messaging and operators have been slow to evolve their strategies in the segment.” Really, these reports are about carrier revenue, not the popularity of text messaging.

The CEO of AT&T said as much back in May, commenting to the Times that “if you’re using iMessage, you’re not using one of our messaging services, right? That’s disruptive to our messaging revenue stream.” Apple’s iMessage has already sent 300 billion messages this year alone, and is expected to hit the half-trillion mark before the year’s end.

SimpleTexting is, of course, also an application that allows people to text outside of standard carrier plans.


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