Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

[Posted by Neil Strother]

Some interesting numbers you might have missed in the past few days. VeriSign said it delivered a record 94.8 billion mobile messages (SMS, MMS, A2P) worldwide in the second quarter, up more than 82% from the same quarter a year ago.

OK, but now the clincher: the company delivered nearly 179 billion messages globally in the first half of the year. To put this into perspective, that equates to 26 messages for every person on the planet (6.7 billion). Staggering.

Premium content (alerts, ringtones, voting, etc.) also rose, with premium SMS transactions growing 36% in the quarter compared to the second quarter of 2008, VeriSign said. Marketers continue to recognize that SMS is the most efficient way to reach a wide audience on mobile, something we pointed out in our recent report on best practices for mobile marketing. So, in spite of all the hype surrounding marketing via mobile applications - which we like, mind you - text messaging still delivers the reach.

What do you think? Post a comment below.


re: Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

Neil - I agree that SMS is definitely the way to go re: mobile marketing. And I really like the mobile app space, too. However, not everyone carries a smartphone and those who do tend to download more apps than they actually use. The consumer is in charge (if you're reading this and doubt for one second I'm right about this, please pick another profession - marketing ain't for you) and using SMS as part of your mobile strategy helps them not only be a part of the conversation using a channel they never leave home without, but to shape it.

re: Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

Just so you know, Neil, based on my most recent phone bill, my 16-year old son accounts for 42% of the global text volume.

re: Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

Ouch! Have you checked his thumbs for any repetitive stress issues?

re: Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

Neil,One problem. 160 character restriction. I've got to believe SMS will be giving way to something more richer in the future. These numbers will probably hasten that day.Steve

re: Mobile Numbers Tell an Interesting Story

Steve,Yes, eventually, we'll see broader use of richer formats. But for the near term it's hard to beat the reach and simplicity of SMS, especially in emerging wireless markets where networks and devices aren't as advanced.