Text messaging, or SMS, is one of the oldest forms of communication, if we consider how today’s generation is communicating. Text message is as old as the digital mobile phone itself. Like all things that come to an end, text messaging is facing threats from multiple directions. In 2011, social messaging apps have cost telecommunication companies some US$ 13.9 billion in lost revenue. That’s significant revenue which is directly hitting the telcos.
It’s not just social messaging apps. There are whole host of companies which are gunning the SMS market. Some of these companies are doing it because of the competition, and might not be aiming at SMS. Whichever way, SMS providers have more than a problem at hand. While the death of text messages is premature, they could soon become a dying breed.
Which are the companies causing the slow death of text messages?
The reason for including Samsung, and not Blackberry, at the top of the list is because of its ChatON app which is available on all Samsung phones (including low-end touch screen phones). Samsung is everywhere and has gone to places where Apple wouldn’t even think of going. This puts Samsung and its ChatOn app on the greatest threats to the text message list.
With iMessage, Apple has ventured into the Blackberry territory. One of the reasons for Blackberry’s success is its BlackBerry Messenger. Apple, now seeing greater adoption in the enterprise business circles can’t be left out of this messaging game. It almost looks like Apple got itself into the messaging game out of sheer competition. Independent apps like WhatsApp might be one more reason for Apple’s interest in launching iMessage.
Whatever the reason, with millions of iPhones, iMessage is a major threat to SMS.
RIM / BlackBerry
BlackBerry Messaging seems to be the pioneer of the mobile messaging apps. While BlackBerry maker Research-in-Motion is losing ground in its home country Canada, BlackBerry remains popular in countries like Indonesia, and BBM is one of the most sought after feature in a Blackberry phone.
This cross-platform app works on BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, Windows and Nokia. That’s a mouthful of mobile operating systems and enough to put any proprietary messaging apps out of business. It still amazes me as this app hasn’t reached the epic popularity it deserves.
Vox.io, Facebook, Twitter and the IM gang
OK. I cheated a little. This is more than 5 companies bundled into just one. In a way that’s correct, because none of these were aimed at killing the text messaging business directly, but has introduced a feature that is inadvertently reducing text message usage among mobile users. Vox.io for example, has a new feature to start a chat. Facebook message, Twitter and IM services are another set tools slowly stabbing the text message.
What other companies/services would you add to this list?
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