20 Years Of Texting: The Rise And Fall Of LOL

From Business Insider:

It has saved lives and ruined marriages, created a whole new dialect and made billions in profits for phone companies. But as the humble text message celebrates its 20th birthday, some wonder how much longer it will survive in a world of smartphones and all-you-can-eat data.

The number of SMS – short message service – messages being sent has rocketed year after year but there are signs it has peaked in a number of countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, Hong Kong and Australia. A new generation of users who might once have used texts now use data services such as WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for free.

“There’s a lot of these services out there – I’ve counted 25 which have a total of 2.5bn reported accounts, though many of those will be duplicates,” said Benedict Evans, telecoms analyst at Enders Analysis. “There are probably 10 which have more than 100 million users – and BBM isn’t among them; that’s only got 60 million.”

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