As previously noted in this space, text messaging, or SMS, is a scam and it needs to die. I suggested that Google Voice, Kik Messenger, and Apple’s iMessage could help kill it off. Yet it’s really a fourth, much more obvious service that will be the death of SMS.
That’s according to telecommunications consulting firm Strand Consult, which released a very interesting note Friday. And they mean it. Despite €3-€6 flat-rate SMS plans still being the norm among mobile customers in Denmark and Norway, that’s just a holdover and cheap luxury for customers, Strand writes.
What’s really going to put the hurt on carriers is that good old dark-blue buddy, Facebook:
Today, over 800 million people around the world use Facebook on the Internet and over 425 of them use Facebook on their mobile phone. Measured in minutes of use, Facebook probably transports more mobile traffic, number of messages and time spent online than the world's largest operator.
In other words:
… Market players like Google, Skype, Twitter and MSN are only marginally important to the mobile industry compared to Facebook.
Personally, I dislike it quite a bit when people approach me with work-related matters or questions with a time consideration through Facebook Messages. For whatever reason, they don’t consistently make it through Gmail to my visible inbox. And heading to Facebook to view them gives them the context of being sandwiched between crummy ads, 15 notifications about comments left on a month-old post about a funny election video, and lots of Spotify listening updates.
But then again, Facebook Messenger is free, it works, and it provides access to almost everybody in the connected world. And if it replaces SMS, then I can’t be too mad at it.