For the First Time, OTT Chat Apps Overtake SMS in Messaging Volume!

Posted by Natasha Grach on May 03, 2013

Blackberry, image source: Flickr user: liewcfRemember how revolutionary texting was when it first arrived 20 years ago? Well, with technology, nothing is revolutionary for long.

For many, texting has become the easiest, fastest way to talk to friends and family. But now, OTT ("over-the-top") messaging apps are gaining momentum like never before.

For the first time ever, chat apps have proven more popular than traditional SMS text messaging. This week, research firm Informa reported that in 2012 nearly 19 billion messages were sent per day on chat apps, while only 17.6 billion messages were sent via traditional SMS texts.

Hard to believe?

Consider this: the proliferation of smart phones in the cellular marketplace has allowed OTT messaging apps (including Voxox), and manufacturer-driven solutions like iMessage to reach scores of new users each month, giving carriers’ old text messaging plans a literal run for their money.

And this is only the beginning.

Informa predicts that by 2014 nearly 50 billion messages will be sent per day using chat apps, compared with 21 billion traditional SMS texts. The mobile messaging game is changing and carriers must find ways to get ahead or at least keep up. That’s life in the technology fast lane!

For now, SMS is still far ahead in overall user count. Informa expects providers to rake in $120 billion from texting alone this year. But not for long - momentum clearly favors the newcomers, with chat app message output expected to reach nearly 41 billion per day in 2013, which would be double the number of forecasted texts.

The challenge facing carriers now is to create a reliable, attractive user experience that will give subscribers little motivation to take their messaging elsewhere.

So, what camp are you with: Team SMS or Team OTT? Post your thoughts in the comments below or connect with us on Twitter and Facebook. Oh, and grab Voxox for iPhone while you're at it and explore for yourself.

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Tags: Industry Trends, Voxox, SMS, OTT