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WhatsApp and other IM clients are killing text messages

Text messages are now in decline as WhatsApp and other instant messaging apps have taken over, with 160 billion instant messages exchanged last year.

More phone users appear are ditching SMS text messages in favour of instant messaging clients like WhatsApp. Such services were used to send 160 billion instant messages last year, compared to 145 billion text messages. The nuber of text messages sent has fallen by 7 billion.

There’s more bad news for the old-fashioned text. Analysts at Deloitte say this is a trend likely to continue into 2014, with the number of instant messages exchanged expected to double  over the year.

Ernest Doku, telecoms spokesmouth at uSwitch, said: “The explosion in popularity of smartphones has changed the way we communicate, connect and gather information, exposing the limitations of the humble text message.”

Mr Doku added: “It’s no coincidence that 95 per cent of mobile phone contracts are now offering unlimited texts, while data often comes at a premium — you can’t even give text messages away.”

The beginnings of the decline of SMS was noted over a year ago on the 20th birthday of the first British text message. It looks like text messaging will be dying a slow death just like the landline, soon to be a thing of the past. 

Do you still text or rely solely on instant messaging apps like WhatsApp? Let us know by posting in the comments below. 

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