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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : September 20, 2011

Texting frequency among US adults levels off

There are only so many texts one person can send in a day. Some reports show that teens and tweens can tap out hundreds of messages each day. However, new research from the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests that adult mobile users in the U.S. have found their level.

by Helen Leggatt

In 2009 American adults sent, on average, 29.7 text messages per day, rising to 39.1 in 2010. That number hasn't risen as significantly this year, according to recent figures released by Pew (.pdf), sitting at 45.1 text messages per day. The report's author believes a natural level of texting activity has been reached, and that the levelling out is not a sign of saturation. Another consideration might be the increased use of smartphones and use of email and social networks to communicate rather than text messaging.

Mobile users aged between 18 and 24 now send, on average, 109.5 messages per day, or 3,200 messages per month, the most of all age groups. It will be interesting to see if this level of texting continues as this age group ages. Currently there is a significant drop in the number of texts sent by the next age group up, the 25 to 34 year olds, who send 41.8 texts per day, the second largest users.

The older the mobile user the less likely they are to use text messaging with incidences dropping down to between 4 and 10 texts per day among those age 55+.

The survey also found out that texting frequency declines with income. Survey respondents with household incomes of less than $30,000 per year averaged 58.8 messages per day compared with 31.9 messages per day for households reporting annual income greater than $75,000.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 2,200 mobile users surveyed by Pew for the report sent and received text messages.

Tags: consumer insight, mobile marketing, mobile phone, SMS, survey, text messaging

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