Interesting news from China. Experts are predicting a rapid decline in the use of SMS by the country’s 1.2 billion population. After a meteoric rise in texting over the past 15 years or so, SMS use grew by a paltry 2% last year. It looks like that modest rise will turn into a rapid free fall.
The SMS cash cow for China’s telcos is ailing and it’s forcing them to quickly look for alternative revenue streams as consumers move rapidly to free messaging services like Sina and Tencent.
It’s not just the overall number of texts sent that will go into decline but also the average number of text messages sent per person. One report suggests that the average number has fallen by 9% in a year. In contrast the free mobile messaging platforms are in rude health. Sina Weibo, for example, now has over 350 million users.
This major shift away from SMS is less apparent in the West with free mobile messaging services making less of a dent in the number of texts sent.
In contrast, the use of bulk SMS and SMS gateways in business continues to show strong growth. It remains the only channel that can be used to access an entire customer base. Many UK companies are now integrating SMS into their business systems using an SMS API. This allows them to automate the sending of messages for appointment reminders, delivery notifications and a whole host of other applications.
Business SMS – here to stay. (For the time being.)
It looks like SMS will remain a powerful tool for mobile marketers for some time to come. One of its strong attributes is that you have to pay for it. The fact that sending a business SMS isn’t free means that we’re not all swamped with junk texts. With the exception of the occasional PPI or ambulance chasing spam text, most of us receive very little in the way of unwanted texts.
In fact most people say they would like to hear from companies that they have bought from in the past as long as they give them the opportunity to unsubscribe from the list at any time.
If you would like to use business SMS yourself, please help yourself to a free account. You will receive some free text credits and we will be on hand to answer any queries that you may have.