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Beginning of the end for SMS as Whatsapp and co take over

Beginning of the end for SMS as Whatsapp and co take over
Not such a happy birthday now

The trusty old text message has been eclipsed by instant-messaging through chat apps like Whatsapp for the first time.

The statisticians over at Informa say that app-based IM-ing saw over 19 billion messages sent per day in 2012, while we managed only 17.6 billion texts per day between us.

This isn't exactly stellar news for the phone networks who are losing out on all that juicy text messaging revenue - chat apps use up tiny amounts of your data allowance, while SMSes are a proven income stream of yore.


Informa's research was a little selective when it came to messaging clients - Whatsapp, BBM, Viber, Nimbuzz, iMessage and KakaoTalk made the cut, but others didn't - so the volume is likely to be higher. Facebook Messenger, for example, seems a glaring omission.

The research house reckons that data-based messaging is set only to grow, predicting that nearly 50 billion messages will be sent daily via app by 2014, while it sees only 21 billion SMSs going out per day in the same year.

So is it the end for the text message? Informa says not - "There is a lot of life still in SMS," Informa's Pamela Clark-Dickson said, citing the fact that billions of people are still on app-less feature phones rather than smartphones, particularly in developing countries.