The volume of texts sent by US teens has risen, from a median of 50 texts a day in 2009, to 60 texts, research from Pew Internet has found. According to the study, texting is the dominant daily mode of communication between teens. The frequency of voice calls – on mobile and landlines – has fallen. But the heaviest texters are also the heaviest talkers.
The penetration of smartphones among teenage users is also growing – 23 per cent of all those aged 12-17. Ownership is, unsurprisingly, highest among older teens: 31 per cent of those aged 14-17 have a smartphone, compared with just 8 per cent of those aged 12-13.
Tom Veldman, senior proposition manager at mobile messaging company Acision, thinks that the figures suggest a wider context for over-the-top messaging, and the UK.
“This research proves once again that, despite the use of free over-the-top messaging apps, text messaging is still a preferred method of communicating, often replacing voice calls,” says Veldman. “It’s interesting to compare this research with our own, and consider the differences in attitudes towards SMS in the UK and the US. Overall, SMS as a medium is more popular in the UK – yet in terms of volume, the average US user sends more messages via SMS, likely due to the higher penetration of unlimited SMS bundles compared to the UK. This suggests SMS pricing is the main factor influencing the popularity of SMS vs over-the-top messaging services in this region.”
The full report can be downloaded here.