Study Shows Social Messaging Apps Cost Carriers $13.9 Billion in SMS Revenues Last Year

A study carried out by Analysis firm Ovum has revealed that messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook (Messenger) may have cost carriers $13.9 billion in lost SMS revenues in 2011.

Ovum studied data gathered from the popular messaging applications that are available on smartphones.

The result of the study is not surprising as last year has seen an influx of messenger apps for smartphones. WhatsApp – a cross-platform messenger have been extremely popular. Apple also launched iMessage – their new messaging service in October that allows iOS device users to send messages to each other for free. Apple released Message Beta for Mac users last week and plans to include it as a major feature in OS X Mountain Lion that will be released to users later this summer. Facebook also surprised everyone by launching Facebook Messenger – a standalone messaging app.

So users have ended up using these messaging and social networking apps that use iPhone’s data connection or Wi-Fi networks to communicate with their friends and family rather than using SMS.

Ovum consumer analyst Neha Dharia said yesterday in a statement that “Social messaging has disrupted traditional services, and operators’ revenues in this area will come under increasing pressure.”

She believes that carriers should be open to work with big players in the social messaging space.

“Operators must remain open to partnering with app developers, sharing end-user data with them and allowing integration with the user’s social connections.

Working closely with handset vendors will also be important; they control some of the most popular social messaging apps, and can also provide preloaded applications.”

While that may work with Android based smartphones, that strategy won’t work with with iOS devices as Apple has control (thankfully) over what is installed on them.

In 2010, carriers had lost $8.7 billion because of messaging apps, which was 6% of the total text messaging revenues, which has jumped to 9% in 2011. That should be a worrying trend for carriers, however we’re not sure if they can do anything about it.

Has services like iMessage reduced your monthly bill? Let us know in the comments.

[via BBC]

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