Chat apps ‘now more popular than texting’

01/05/2013

Chat apps such as WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage are now more popular than text messaging, according to a news report.

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The Financial Times reports that there were more instant messages being sent daily by the end of last year than there were text messages.

In terms of figures it asserts that 41 billion app, based messages will be sent each day this year - that's double the number of text messages.

The data, collected for the Financial Times by telecoms and media consultancy Informa, highlights the rapid rise of a technology that did not exist five years ago but is seen by some as a potential challenger to Facebook’s dominance in social networking.

According to the data, 19 billion messages were sent each day in 2012 via chat apps compared to 17.6 billion from SMS. This highlights the huge growth chat apps have experienced in recent months as users look to avoid SMS fees, and those numbers are only projected to grow.

Informa believes chat apps will receive 50 billion messages each day by 2014 compared to 21 billion texts. The increase is in part due to the proliferation of smartphones.

WhatsApp is a free messaging service for mobiles that effectively replaces text messaging. You can use the app to send text messages, along with images and more, and you don't pay for them as the message is included in your data plan.

The FT reports that WhatsApp "has done to SMS on mobile phones what Skype did to international calling on landlines.

WhatsApp's Chief executive Jan Joum recently said that the firm has more active users than Twitter which claims more than 200 million people use its service at least once a month.

Read the FT report here

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