Monday, April 27, 2009

Text Messaging - for Old People, Too

Text messaging and mobile usage statistics are really difficult to find, mostly because the arena is changing so fast.

Numbers appear to be all over the map. One source I read suggested that in the US there were 5.3 billion texts sent in December 2008. Another suggested that there are a billion sent per day. No matter which you believe, the numbers are big. And more importantly, they are growing exponentially.

For example, Canadians send approximately 100 million texts per day. This is over double the amount sent only one year ago.

But who is sending all these texts? According to Bob Bentz, President of Advanced Telecom Systems, 82% of adults aged 18-24 are avid text message users. And 72% of adults 25-49 use text messaging.

Bentz also claims that 53% of text message users are over 35.

Now, this is one of those funny stats that can be misleading. While it's quite probably true that 53% of text message users are over 35, they absolutely don't send 53% of all text messages. If I had to guess, the 35+ age group probably sends 10-20% of text messages.

However, for marketers, all it takes for a consumer to receive a brand communication via text message is that they have access to text messaging, and that they open/read text messages that they receive. And since text messaging is expanding across generations, marketers can be assured that they can reach almost anybody with text message communications.

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