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Facebook and iMessage to blame for first decline in text messaging
The average mobile subscriber in the U.S. sent 696 text messages per month in the second quarter of 2012 but, according to a new report, that figure dropped in the third quarter for the first time.
The number of text messages sent by U.S. mobile subscribers has seen a massive rise over the past five years. Text messaging during that time tripled. However, a new report from Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst, found that in the third quarter of this year 678 texts a month were sent, down from 696 texts a month in the previous quarter.
"Most western markets have seen the net revenue in the messaging segment decline," writes Sharma. "The US market has resisted the decline thus far. In Q3 2012, for the first time, there was a decline in both the total number of messages as well as the total messaging revenue in the market."
While Sharma says it is too early to say whether text messaging has peaked, it's surely a sign that IP and app messaging, such as Facebook or Apple's iMessage, are increasingly being favored by mobile users over text messaging.
"It might be early to say if the decline has begun or the market segment will sputter along before the decline takes place," wrote Sharma.
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