聊天应用信息量超过短信数量,对运营商来说意味着什么?

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【聊天应用信息量超过短信数量,对运营商来说意味着什么?】用户使用第三方平台发送的信息已经在数量上超过短信,长期来看,这个趋势不可避免。但短时期内运营商不必太惊慌。1、短期内短信的使用量还将继续增加。如Informa研究表明2012年。世界上每天有1亿9千条信息经由聊天应用发出,1亿7千6百万短信。2014年有2亿1千万短信,5亿聊天应用信息。2、不使用短信的使用者数量很少。3、使用应用发送信息的用户同时是短信用户,两者并非此消彼长的关系。4、应用存在平台的兼容问题,但是短信服务每个手机都能使用。5、第三方平台应用和手机运营商合作紧密。

Chat apps have overtaken SMS by message volume, but how big a disaster is that for carriers?

There’s a reason why mobile carriers are scared of third-party messaging apps such as WhatsApp, and here it is: people are now sending more messages over these services than they are text messages.


We now know this for a fact, courtesy of analysts at Informa. As Europe’s digital chief, Neelie Kroes, greeted the news on Monday morning:


It's official: chat apps have overtaken SMS globally. The cash cow is dying. Time for telcos to wake up & smell the data coffee.— 
Neelie Kroes (@NeelieKroesEU) April 29, 2013
Informa says 2012 saw nearly 19 billion messages sent over these apps each day around the world, versus 17.6 billion SMS messages. The analyst house reckons the contrast will be even starker in 2014, with 21 billion text messages projected, against almost 50 billion app-based messages.


As you will note, this suggests that SMS volumes will continue to increase, at least in the short term. Nonetheless, it is clear that the big growth is to be found in, er, the data coffee – spurred along by the likes of Nokia, which is now selling phones with dedicated WhatsApp keys.


However, things may not be as bleak for the mobile operators as they seem.


Hazy picture


First off, while the volumes of non-SMS messages has overtaken that of traditional texts, the user numbers remain significantly lower – although how much lower is a bit unclear.


According to Informa analyst Pamela Clark-Dickson, there were 3.5 billion SMS users in 2012. Regarding the chat apps, Clark-Dickson only took 6 into account, namely WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger, Viber, Nimbuzz, Apple’s iMessage and KakaoTalk. At the end of 2012, she said, there were 586.3 million users of these platforms, but that’s not taking into account other giants such as Facebook Messenger for Android (somewhere between 100-500 million installations) and China’s TenCent (around 300 million users).


Even if there were, let’s say, a billion chat app users, the disparity between message volume and user numbers shows that people who use these “over-the-top” (OTT) apps use them more frequently than those who use SMS – specifically, the average OTT app user sends 32.6 messages a day, and the average SMS user just 5 texts. This stands to reason because OTT apps are generally free to use, so we should therefore be wary of assuming that every OTT message represents a “lost” SMS from a revenue perspective, in much the same way as it’s illogical to claim that a free “pirated” song download represents a lost sale.


Those chat app users are probably also SMS users, because – for example – WhatsApp is of little use when you’re trying to message someone on a different platform (or someone with a basic dumbphone). There, SMS is and remains the great leveller: any mobile phone can use it. This is particularly important for some enterprises.


Whither Joyn?


And then we have a big unanswered question: even when SMS tails off, how big a chunk of the IP-based messaging market will the carriers themselves own?


Thing is, Informa’s analysis of the market does not include projections for Joyn, the industry-wide drive to create a common, interoperable messaging and file-sharing platform that works on all (or at least most) operators’ devices — Joyn has only just kicked off, so there are no real takeup figures from which to extrapolate. Precedent suggests that the mobile industry is incapable of acting in concert, but that doesn’t mean it can’t buck the trend when its back is against the wall.


“Mobile operators do have the opportunity to provide their own IP-based messaging applications,” Clark-Dickson noted.


And then we have services such as Telefonica’s Tu Go and Rogers’s One Number that extend traditional handset functionality onto the desktop. These services heavily blur the line between SMS and IP-based messaging – if the carriers can pull off this sort of thing while monetizing it in some way, what does it matter whether the medium used is technically SMS or something else?


Also don’t forget that carriers can build offerings around these third-party apps. For example, WhatsApp has partners with 3 Hong Kong and RCom, which sell flat-rate bundles specifically for WhatsApp use while at home or roaming. It may break the principle of net neutrality, but it’s a tactic some carriers are employing.


Either way, though, what’s clear is the speed at which all this is happening. The SMS is 20 years old and chat apps have only been around for around 5 years. Although we should take care when predicting the results, the trend of IP-based messaging replacing SMS certainly appears unstoppable.

 

文章作者:  David Meyer
文章来源:gigaom
文章链接:
http://gigaom.com/2013/04/29/chat-apps-have-overtaken-sms-by-message-volume/

 


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