Why We Continue To Text Instead Of Download

Apps are lame

As smartphone sales continue to rise, the number of apps available to us rise as well. But not everyone is convinced this is a good thing. Author Golden Krishna argues that we’ve become an app-obsessed society who is more concerned with swiping and two-finger pinches than finding the best tool for the job. In an ideal world an app should improve a process. Instead, many apps waste time and can make tasks more tedious.

Consumers are realizing this, and many are already starting to drift away from loading app upon app. According to a recent study, 65% of smartphone users don’t download a new app in a given month. While people are still spending plenty of time using apps, they are sticking to the apps they’ve already downloaded on their smartphones. What does this mean for businesses? Maybe creating an expensive custom app isn’t the right solution to communicate with customers.

One question we often get at Zipwhip is, will SMS lose out to new messaging alternatives like Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger? It’s a valid question, since texting doesn’t offer the same list of robust features like apps do. But what is commonly overlooked is SMS’s ubiquity and efficiency. 91% of smartphone users actively use SMS messaging compared to 55% that use alternative messaging methods. According to a May 2012 report, main factors for SMS having higher popularity than over-the-top (OTT) messaging services were speed, reach, and reliability. For times when you need to reach someone immediately, texting remains the most proven solution.

2 thoughts

  1. This is an important and valuable insight. Just about every cell phone on the planet supports SMS, and even Luddites who won’t use smartphone apps or consumers who can’t afford to are likely to use text messages. It’s a very effective and often overlooked medium.

  2. Hey Paul – I wholeheartedly agree with your comment. It’s incredibly rare that I run into someone who doesn’t text or doesn’t know how to text. Texting is familiar to all and preferred by too many consumers not to have as a call-to-action for your business.

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