SMS is dead, or almost dead. It’s a fairly common refrain and one that is threading its way into the mainstream as smartphones become increasingly ubiquitous. Surely it must be true. I mean, with services like BBM, WhatsApp and the recently unveiled iMessage, why would anyone need to send something as old-fashioned as a text message?
Well, the numbers would beg to differ. According to research gathered by online business course provider mbaonline, text messaging is the most used data service in the world and there are an estimated 4.2-billion texters on Earth. That’s three-fifths of the current global population.
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The ability to send text messages is particularly important in emerging markets, particularly among the poorest of the poor. 48-million of these people have cellphones but no electricity and are often reliant on car batteries to charge their phones.
In a number of countries, particularly in Africa, cellphone subscriptions outpace bank accounts by some distance.
SMS can also be used for immense good in these countries.
In Kenya, for instance, text messages have been used to remind HIV patients to take their dose of life-saving medications.
In one particular study, it was found that only 3.3% of the SMS prompts required a follow-up. As a result, one nurse could potentially manage 1 000 patients by SMS, and expect to make a follow-up call to only 33 patients per week.
In the world of marketing SMS also still has incredible reach. According a study by ABI Research, 90% of text messages written and sent are read within three minutes and 99% of all messages are eventually read by the recipient.
To illustrate the full impact text messages still have on the world, the folks at mbaonline created a comprehensive infographic, showing that SMS is most definitely still alive and kicking:
Created by: MBA Online