28th - Jun - 2016

Mobile Messaging Report – Global Insights Chat Apps and SMS Usage

Today, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum released the Mobile Messaging Report 2016. The study co-sponsored by the MEF and Mblox was conducted by On Device Research in Q2 of this year.  As pioneers in enterprise to consumer mobile messaging, we at Mblox have taken part and witnessed the industry growth and evolution over the past 17 years. As mobile user behavior continues to change, one thing is clear, there are billions of mobile messages being exchanged worldwide today.  Understanding what drives a consumer to use OTT over SMS, how it may vary by region and understanding what it takes to come out a winner in this race for dominance whether that be OTT or SMS or combination of both are all questions we had and wanted answers to.  The report collected consumer trends and attitudes in 9 countries, including Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, UK and USA.

The study examines the ever-growing use of ‘OTT’ apps (apps that allow users to send messages over IP), delving into apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and Viber and examining the app features helping to drive adoption – including the ability to send video and photos, and easily set up closed groups.  These features are not readily available via SMS and the study reveals these OTT apps to be favored by a majority of end users today.  For example, 56% of people surveyed  said they regularly use Facebook Messenger versus 42% who use SMS. This shows there’s been a shift away from SMS in person-to-person messaging, but the same cannot be said for A2P (application-to-person), enterprise SMS messages sent from a brand or business to a customer.

Businesses are increasingly turning to mobile messaging to interact with their customers – and their preference is SMS, thanks to its universality.  The research shows text messaging is embraced across many verticals.  The survey shows 76% of consumers have received communications from businesses such as banks, healthcare and retailers via SMS and 65% have engaged with companies via chat apps.  The study further reveals the financial services industry as the most active; with analysts predicting A2P SMS growth to be $60B by 2018.

Highlights from the study for P2P and A2P messaging:

P2P Messaging Usage Habits and Regional Patterns

  • WhatsApp and Facebook have edged past SMS

  • The messaging app space is consolidating around a dozen major players

  • Huge variation in messaging habits determined by country

A2P Messaging: How Businesses and Customer Talk to Each Other

  • SMS outscores messaging apps for A2P in all verticals

  • Plenty of scope for growth in A2P messaging

  • Voice and ‘face to face’ still popular channels for person-to-business communications

  • Financial services leads the way for contact by SMS

  • One in six use text with healthcare providers

  • Retail communications: most mature market users prefer email to text

  • Most popular use of ‘business SMS’ – confirming a password

  • Enterprise-to-consumer SMS: mobile-first nations are way out in front The ‘non-arrival’ of location-based messaging

  • 37% have never received an LBS alert

  • German businesses use A2P the least whilst Indian business use A2P the most

To access the full report, please visit:


Author: Rob Malcolm, Senior Vice President Corporate Business Development, Mblox, Inc.

Originally posted on mblox.com

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