In 2012, GigaOM declared SMS a dinosaur.
They were not the only ones.
In 2013, The Next Web declared its imminent death.
In 2014 Time Magazine did the same.
Fast forward to 2015. GigaOM have ceased operations to much commiseration – while SMS seems to be more alive than ever.
Whatsapp, Google, Apple and Facebook are still using SMS in their products for verification or otherwise. It is even more significant given that each of these companies have billion-dollar messaging apps claiming to cause the death of SMS.
Whatsapp & Google using SMS for their verification process.
The value of SMS has been so severely overlooked we needed to bring it back into our consciousness with SMS 3.0, an iteration of SMS that have always been around but unused and untapped.
Wait a minute, so why do we care about SMS with this statistic? The rise in Smartphone adoption is parallel to Chat Message usage and it is a given that more individuals will own a smartphone soon.
Also, while IMs replace text messages in certain cases, they are also used instead of emails, tweets, phone, and video calls.
The usage statistics for a free messaging service make it hard to make a comparison with paid SMS stats. Low SMS costs will never match free messaging using data in terms of usage but…
The value of SMS never had the frivolity or mass indulgence of Instant Messaging and in that lies its USP — The ubiquity and maturity of a globally secure communications method.
It is clear then, the quantity of Instant Messaging has surpassed SMS and will stay that way, but is the quality of SMS enough to get users to continue using them or is it just an expensive tool in a digital age of data?
According to Deloitte, SMS generated $100 Billion in revenue in 2014. That was still 50x the total revenues from all mobile Instant Messaging services.
The likes of Apple’s iMessage and Whatsapp are more focused on capturing the largest user base before making revenue from value-added services on top of it.
The likes of WeChat, Line and Tango already attribute their revenues to in-game purchases.
SMS revenues are slowing down, but there is a certain type of SMS that refuses to be diminished, stepping up to the plate to defy all odds — A2P SMS.
Facebook Messenger has 600 Million MAUs, Whatsapp has 800 Million MAUs, and WeChat has 468 Million MAUs with a concentration of users in different regions.
In contrast, the world will have more than 5 Billion mobile phone users globally by 2016.
While many messenger apps definitely have mutual users, all IM apps remain incompatible with each other. Communication via an IM app requires all parties to have the same app. A Whatsapp customer cannot message a WeChat user directly.
Users will continue to use SMS as a default in order to communicate with each other globally.
With a reduction in P2P SMS traffic in the last 12 months, there is no time for sentiment as A2P SMS looks to take over the SMS throne by 2016, being worth more than $70bn.
Over 2.19 trillion A2P messages will also be transacted globally by 2018, a 56% increase from 2013.
The marketing benefits of SMS are obvious, from being more powerful than email marketing for engagement, to being an untouched tool for text message marketing.
But users need more than another channel for businesses to connect with them; they need relevance and true value in using any product.
We think of an SMS API integration as the game changer, assisting A2P SMS to be even disruptive. (gasp!)
With an SMS API integration, you open up access to incredible features that were never utilized previously.
Security with One-time passwords and 2 Factor Authentication
Two Factor Authentication is a simple process where an app or service verifies a user’s identity or login details with an additional step. It usually involves a smartphone as a secondary device to send a one-time pin code to a user, which they then add into the system and log in.
With a robust API, you can implement this important layer of security using SMS to over 100 countries.
A communications API can even run Call Verification to make it even easier for users to be verified just using their phone numbers.
Statistics for SMS usage
Having analytics for SMS allows app developers to understand how SMS is being used in your app, to review reporting and tracking the SMS integration within it.
Notifications — Confirmations, Reminders, Updates & Alerts
Notifications are a huge step up from previous versions of SMS.
An SMS API allow apps to be used for 2-way communication with short and long codes between apps and users for time-sensitive, relevant and secure information.
Coupled with SMS statistics that you have access to using an API, you can provide critical information that users really crave for, instead of it coming off as spammy ads.
Click to call
Adding phone numbers and codes or web links in SMS allow users to have direct contact with the least amount of friction. Access to customer support and other services on demand creates a stronger mutual relationship.
Opt-in & Information Requests
Individuals want to be contacted, but only after giving permission. Opt-ins using SMS are a personal method of giving permission with huge rewards. (98%)
Orders and Reservations
We have seen the likes of Luka with a unique AI that allows you instant message and even SMS services and businesses to reach them instantly, and clearly reaching 5 Billion users globally can be more rewarding than allowing regional preferences to slow down scalability.
SMS is not a new technology, but we believe its presence remains a necessity, and is even key to connecting a new digital landscape with data at the forefront.
It’s death has been greatly exaggerated, and it has since evolved to stay relevant to unsurprisingly provide even greater value to developers and consumers.
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