One day removed from St. Patrick’s Day, there’s some rather unfortunate news to report on the SMS front in Ireland.
According to reports out of Europe, text messaging has virtually “collapsed” in Ireland.
Ireland’s telecoms regulator confirms a significant decline in SMS messages sent between Irish people during the past year.
In its latest quarterly report, the regulator recorded 2.15 billion SMS text messages sent among Irish mobile phone users in the last three months of 2013. This is 27.6% down on the same period in 2012.
“The collapse is being attributed to the rise of free alternatives,” the Independent reports, “such as Whatsapp, Snapchat and Viber.”
The same publication notes that Whatsapp now has close to 800,000 registered Irish users. Snapchat, meanwhile, has 650,000 registered users.
Facebook may also be a contributing factor in the SMS decline. There are now some two million Irish Facebook accounts, and well over half access the service daily to communicate with friends.