Brits give up on SMS

The UK is giving up on SMS and turning to trendier messaging services like Whatsapp, Snapchat and mobile email.

Telecoms analyst Deloitte says the number of SMS (standard messaging service) text messages sent last year was down by seven billion to 145 billion.

It is the first time that texting, created in 1992, has fallen in popularity and experts claim it is a sign that the technology is on its way out.

Paul Lee, Deloitte’s head of telecoms research, says the heyday of the text message is over and it had reached a tipping point.

Use of mobile phones was stronger than ever and trillions of instant messages will be sent in place of a text message.

Part of the problem is that SMS is stupidly expensive, costing 10p a pop.

Smartphone apps like Whatsapp allow whole groups of people to communicate at the same time and enable users to send photos and videos and costs 60p a year to use it.

“iMessage is free with an iPhone. Snapchat is accumulating users rather than charging them, whereas text messaging costs money.”

Deloitte predicts the number of texts sent will fall to 140 billion this year, but the number of instant messages sent in the UK is expected to rocket to around 300billion.

The UK has a close relationship with SMS. The first text message was sent from Vodafone’s headquarters in Newbury in 1992 by engineer Neil Papworth, and in 1993 the first mobile phone capable of texting was produced by Nokia, with the UK sending a billion texts a month by 2001.