While SMS marketing is now used by a record number of businesses large and small across the United Kingdom with impressive ROI to show for it, consumers are turning to free instant messaging services and social apps as a cost-effective alternative to traditional text messaging.
New research from Deloitte shows the number of text messages sent in the U.K. during 2013 was “way down on previous years.”
The advisory firm’s latest technology predictions report revealed the number of SMS messages sent in the UK fell for the first time last year, as people increasingly turn to instant messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber and Snapchat to stay in touch.
“Its research shows 145 billion SMS text messages were sent in 2013, a drop of seven billion on the previous year,” ITPro reports. “Furthermore, the company said it expects this downturn to continue this year and that just 140 billion will be exchanged over the next 12 months.”
What’s true in the U.K., however, is also true in the U.S. and the world at large.
On Tuesday, Mobile Marketing Watch affirmed that global expenditure on operator messaging services, which includes SMS and MMS, declined for the first time in 2013 following its peak in 2012.
The revised Global Mobile Messaging Forecast from Strategy Analytics reveals that operator revenue from messaging services fell by almost 4 percent last year to just below $104 Billion.
“Continued intense competition for subscribers between operators combined with the fast growing popularity of over-the-top instant messaging services like WhatsApp, Line Messenger and Tencent’s WeChat will drive a 20 percent fall in global operator messaging revenue by 2017,” Strategy Analytics projects.