MoPub Banner

Smaato One More

Inmobi Again


MobFox Interstitial Ad

MoPub Full Screen Ad

Smaato Ad Unit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How IM is killing SMS - Times of India

The recent report that telecom operators lost $13.9 billion in revenue to social messaging applications has got many wondering if SMS is dying. It may be early to write off SMS, but it's a fact that IM apps like Nimbuzz, Fring, WhatsApp and others are gaining popularity.

Their biggest advantage is messaging and calling friends who are using the same app free of cost. Even if the other person is not using the app, the cost is minimal. Fring dropped call rates last week.

Nimbuzz Ping helps users save on even data charges. Says Vikas Saxena, CEO, Nimbuzz India, "It allows users to appear online and available to their contacts even when the Nimbuzz app is closed. When contacts want to reach them, Nimbuzz Ping delivers free SMS prompting users to log in to Nimbuzz and communicate." Users can also play games, compete with friends, check live cricket scores, get astrology forecasts. You can also video chat and chat in groups.

IM apps are booming --WhatsApp users sent more than 2 billion messages daily, up from 1 billion in October; Pinger users sent 2 billion messages in January, up from 1.7 billion in December; some 150,000 new users register daily on Nimbuzz, which has 15 million users from India.

One reason for the popularity of IMs is convergence -- you can add Google Talk, Facebook,Yahoo IM, Windows Live IM etc - - a huge convenience when your buddies are on different platforms. For example, you may be a regular Facebook user, but your close friends are on Google Talk and Yahoo! Messenger. You can still chat with all of them via one app like Nimbuzz, even if they are not on Nimbuzz -- "a one-stop shop for all communication needs of a user," as Saxena puts it.

But there are downsides. One, many apps are heavy and if your mobile is low on space and memory, they could slow down the device. Two, since they need a data plan, IM apps are only as good as the connectivity, which in turn depends on the device and network provider. Three, keeping the app on for long could drain the battery. And four, shared files could be infected, harming the device and compromising information.

In a fight back, telecom operators in France, Italy, Germany and South Korea are testing a messaging system called Joyn. This will come embedded on all phones, and users can chat, and share files. But Joyn is a long way off.

SMSes will be around, but its usage will drop as data plans become cheaper and sophisticated devices become affordable.

No comments:

Post a Comment