The Great Debate: Do people still send SMS messages?

nokia sms received

You know, there was a time when SMS messages were the dog’s kahonas, but do people still send SMS messages? We’ve taken a look at ComReg’s report on the second quarter of this year to see if they do.

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Back in the day…

God, when SMS came out first it was brilliant. Girls couldn’t hear your pre-pubesent voice breaking as you invited them for an awkward cinema date or anything, as screens worth of text messages were sent through the air instead. And could we ever forget Kate and “the lad from the bar”?

Ah yes, SMS messages, better known as texting, really revolutionised how we communicate. However, the humble text message has taken quite the hit in recent years. In a report released by ComReg we see that average usage of SMS messages has declined by over 1.3 million messages since 2011.

If you think about yourself for a moment, chances are the only time you send an SMS message is because it’s a particularly important message you didn’t trust WhatsApp with, or you were on holidays with no data. The latter here explains the demise of SMS messaging.

Make way for WhatsApp

Using WhatsApp for the first timeSo following a brief spike towards the end of 2011, the usage of SMS messaging went into a severe decline. Right along side that decline was an extremely consistent and strong increase in data usage; 82% of an increase between 2011 and 2015 to be precise. With increased demand for data, came better priced data followed by even more people using data again. It’s a vicious cycle really.

People naturally turned to the likes of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger as you no longer had to worry about what network you mate was on. Hand in hand with this was the convenience of group messaging, which allows Junior B teams up and down the country share the best excuse for not making Friday night training.

Growing demand for faster data

ComReg has also provided some interesting insight into data usage by the average Irish mobile user.

internet speed gif 4g gifWe can see the average mobile user now makes use of 1.8GB of data. This is a massive increase from last year, an increase that accompanied by a public demand for speed. Since the introduction of 4G into the Irish market in late 2014, the number of mobile users regularly using 4G data has grown from 8.8% to 16.5% today.

We’re sure none of this is really surprising, except for the sharpness in decline that SMS messaging as experienced. Funnily enough, MMS messages, also known as the only way to send your mother/grandmother a picture message, has survived this decline, experiencing no major drop.

What was the last SMS message you sent? Let us know in the comments below.


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Founding Editor of Goosed, Marty is a massive fan of tech making life easier. You'll often find him testing something new, brewing beer or finding some new foodie spots in Dublin, Ireland. - Find me on Threads