25 Years of Texting: Connecting People and Businesses Evolves

23

Texting has just celebrated its 25th anniversary and back then, it was liberating because it kept you connected even if you were on the go. Today, I doubt if millennials still remember the old feature phones that were so simple, it can only talk, text, and take pictures. We now rely less on the more expensive SMS and have turned to the cyber versions of instant messaging. On the surface, texting seems to have dropped, but the truth is, it just evolved. Today, messaging has become a new arena supremacy among big names like Apple, Google, and Facebook.

https://www.statista.com/chart/12109/sms-volume-in-the-united-states/You will find more statistics at Statista

Leading the Pack

With personal and business contacts connecting through various apps, “keeping it simple” has gotten complex. And though features like group chats and media sharing keep me on point in real-time, it can get confusing across many social platforms!

Just how big has mobile messaging apps gotten? Insanely huge – with about 2.5 billion users having at least one app installed! Per month, free chat and social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp have over 1,000M users worldwide.  Snapchat and Skype have about 300M. Line, serving the Japanese market almost exclusively has 21M users while QQ used in China has 877 monthly users. And of course, there’s WeChat, Google Hangouts, Viber, Slack for work, the ubiquitous Twitter, and the unstoppable Instagram. Crossing over as a messaging app, it has 800M users (and growing)!

Texting and Messaging Level Up

Forbes Magazine called messaging the business interface of the future, and rightly so. Whatever your work situation, with a smartphone, it’s like carrying your business in your pocket. You don’t even have to pick up the phone to check your messages and connect with valuable customers. Cash transfers are done securely, anywhere. After all, time is gold and it has even turned platinum with clients who have no EQ when it comes to timely service!

Customer Service

Take for instance Intercom, a customer messaging platform that promises more engagement. The concept of a fun, interactive, and fast way to reply to issues and engage customers, through a “funnel” was so timely that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone invested heavily in the venture. For me, it’s like a mash-up of a help desk, live chat, and marketing platform that enables me to directly connect with a client. It seems like an overwhelming amount of information since I’m connected simultaneously to many apps, but it isn’t. Work is now more efficient since I can now respond to a variety of apps from just one platform.

Money Transactions

On the fly, money transactions have just gotten better! Instant Messaging and Social Apps have now turned your smartphone into a cash machine. Snapchat pioneered this, followed by Facebook two years ago. Currently, both Google and Apple have apps that allow you to send and receive money for business, leisure or pleasure, globally. Some of these apps allow you to sync your FB account or phone contacts for greater ease.

Security is an issue. If you use your phone for money matters, keep prying eyes away and don’t share. These apps offer the same level of security internet security as online businesses so if trust Amazon, you’re good.

Top Social Messaging apps for P2P Money Transfers  (iOS and Android)

  • Facebook Messenger (may be limited to the U.S. and soon in the U.K.; not allowed for sales and has no fraud protection)
  • Snapcash (a person-person payment option within Snapchat; only in the U.S. and linked to a credit card account)
  • Apple Pay Cash App

Other apps not associated with social media accounts:

  • Paypal (Global; business and P2P;  must be linked to a credit or debit card)
  • Google Wallet
  • Zoom (Global service, a Paypal company)

Marketing

Texting is one of the most underutilized tools these days. Marketers believing that long formats deliver the message are boring audiences who can always opt out. You’ve probably unsubscribed many times without giving it a thought. Texters because of the brevity of their message are starting to appeal again to jaded customers. When in doubt, market the Zen way, “less talk, fewer mistakes” – make those 160 characters count!

Texting has truly changed the way we connect and interact. It even allows us to express our thoughts through emoticons and emojis. Unless cheap and reliable Internet connection is available globally, SMS text will never be truly out of fashion. But who knows, when we tire of the complex smartphone, we might just go back to feature phones that allow us to just simply talk and chat.

 

What are your thoughts?