WhatsApp beating texts easily, could kill off SMS

WhatsApp is probably the most popular messaging service in the world

Andrew Griffin
Monday 12 January 2015 12:06
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People now send 50% more messages over WhatsApp than texts — and the rise looks set to continue.

WhatsApp now has 700 million users sending 30 billion messages per day, it said last week. That is in comparison with about 20 billion messages a day sent over SMS, according to analysis by Benedict Evans.

The gap between WhatsApp and texting is increasing — in almost every market, texting has been in decline since about 2011.

Evans, a mobile analyst who works for venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, said that he expects voice calling to be an area for innovation. WhatsApp is rumoured to be adding a Skype-like video calling feature as part of its plan for growth.

WhatsApp is also bigger than most of its competitors, including Facebook Messenger and WeChat. Those rival services tend to have less broad geographic reaches, and while Facebook messanger is big in the US, WeChat and others are fighting for East Asia.

That does not include Apple’s iMessage — which is used automatically for iPhones to message other iPhones — because Apple keeps its usage statistics secret. Evans calls iMessage traffic “dark matter” — while it’s “probably big, with over 400 million iPhones in use today,” it’s not possible to know how big it is.

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