RealityMine has conducted a study using 1355 UK panellists, all of whom use at least one application via their mobile device. We used our passive data collection tool, which involves the installation of an app on the phone of a selection of panellists who are representative of the UK population as a whole. With panellists’ permission, this app silently monitors their mobile phone use, measuring 145 different metrics. For this study, we investigate the ways in which the British population use different messaging applications and functionality on their mobile devices.
SMS as the default option?
The first text message was sent in 1992, and by 2010 SMS was the most widely used mobile phone application, with 80% of mobile subscribers sending and receiving messages regularly. An unlimited amount of texts are now commonly included within network packages, encouraging easy and – what might appear to be ‘free’ usage. As the standard form of message sending and receiving, everyone has access to text messages, and they are therefore often used as the default option.
Advertisers have been using SMS for some time and their methods continue to take more of a customer centric and targeted approach, especially with the use of location based tracking to send consumers offers based on their proximity to purchasing opportunities. Many high profile companies even utilize SMS as a two factor authentication method, including Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, PayPal and LinkedIn.
When Smartphones became widely used from 2010 onwards, a contender entered the field in the shape of over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps, whose popularity has been growing substantially ever since, and shows no signs of abating. So how do people use the array of messaging options now available to them? And what is the future for messaging?
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