State of Text Messaging Around the World in 2018

State of Text Messaging Around the World in 2018

The ways we choose to communicate are constantly changing. This appears to be especially true regarding the way we send messages to each other. WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat, Slack are a few new messaging apps that have gained relevance recently. It seems that every day there is a revolution in the way we string a few words together and send them to someone else, each claiming they have the best way to ask your friend if they want to get lunch. But what about text messaging? Is it destined to be replaced entirely by messaging apps in 2018? Or is it still alive and well?

In short, Texting is still alive and well. Approximately 8 trillion texts are sent every single year, with an open rate that holds steady at 99% and a response time that is typically under 3 minutes. 33% of Americans prefer texting to any other form of communication, and it is the most used form of messaging for Americans under the age of 50. It is not going out on a limb to say that texting is one of the most popular ways of communication in the U.S., but what about the rest of the world?

This answer is not as cut and dry. In countries that still have a developing economy with unreliable Internet access, text messaging remains the primary means of communication. Meanwhile, in many smaller countries like those in Europe, texting holds strong, but messaging apps such as WhatsApp are gradually gaining more relevance. This can be attributed to different laws and costs associated with text messaging in each country. In China, WeChat dominates the marketplace, primarily because of its voice messaging features, which are well liked by Chinese consumers.

So where does text messaging go from here? While some countries may be shifting preferences to messaging apps that leverage messaging through the Internet, SMS still has a long and happy life ahead. It is quick, does not require an app download or connection to the Internet, and continues to be the communication method of choice in hundreds of countries worldwide. It’s safe to say the world will be texting for a long time.

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