In the realm of technology, as soon as something new hits the market, it’s probably already old and the next big thing is already in the works to replace it. So even though we’ve been obsessed with text messages for a very long time, at the first sign of any kind of weakening of that medium’s power, it’s natural to ask “What’s next?” Text messaging rates are down on average for the first time ever, which might be a sign that we’re finally moving on.
More and more of us have smartphones now that are constantly hooked up to the World Wide Web. With the Internet and all its various ways of connecting to others — proprietary branded messaging services, emails, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter direct messages — the humble text message is falling to the wayside.
For the first time ever, texting is on the decline, says CNNMoney. The average number of monthly texts sent by users fell in the U.S. last quarter, according to a report released by an independent telecommunications analyst. That’s an unprecedented event in our history.
U.S. cell phone customers sent an average of about 675 messages per month in the third quarter, down from around 700 per month in the prior quarter. Cell phone carriers’ text messaging revenues were also down last quarter for the first time in history.
This dip in texting isn’t a surprise to wireless carriers, who have been relying on revenue from charging customers for unlimited texting plans for a while now. That’s part of the reason carriers have been pushing subscribers more and more to shared data plans, since so many of us are using alternative communication methods and not traditional cellular airwaves.
Whether or not it’s time to start the deathwatch for text messages, we’re pretty sure we’ll all be using other messaging services more than texts not so far in the future.
After all, it makes sense that there will one day be a successor to text messages that we’ll view the same way we view text messages now: “How did I ever live without this? [Previous popular way of communicating] seems so old-fashioned now!”
Text messaging falls for first time in U.S. [CNNMoney]