Mobile messaging boom set to reach 160 trillion a year

Mobile and online messaging traffic is expected to reach 160 trillion per annum by 2019, equating to approximately 438 billion messages sent and received by users on a daily basis, according to new data from Juniper Research.

The rise in messaging traffic, which includes SMS, MMS, instant messaging, social media and email, will be up from the 94.2 trillion messages this year, the data shows

Email accounted for the largest share of traffic last year, at around 35 trillion messages per year, despite the fact that almost 80 per cent of the figure, or 28 trillion, can be categorised as spam.

However, this is expected to change as IM is expected to overtake email within the next 12 months, generating almost 43 trillion messages annually.

Tencent's QQ, WhatsApp and WeChat now have more than 400 million active users, with WhatsApp alone reporting in excess of 30 billion messages sent per day.

Juniper's research notes that based on observation, the negligible cost of IM services had led to users' significant migration from SMS.

Following this increased adoption, over-the-top messaging players are now jumping to e-commerce as they diversify their offerings to various verticals such as food ordering, taxi bookings and payments. Take for example Snapchat's 'Snapcash' service and LINE's LINE Pay.

Usage of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are likewise continuing to drastically increase. Social media giant Facebook alone now has more than 5.8 billion posts, likes and comments per day.

The increased usage in new forms of messaging platforms, however, is still not reflective among enterprises as the research found that businesses continued to regard application-to-person SMS as more reliable and secure than IM for services such as verification and notification. This preference among enterprises is also set to drive A2P revenues to more than $70 billion (£45 billion) by 2019, up from $62.8 billion (£40.6 billion) this year.

Juniper noted that mobile network operators, who are the key-players in enabling these rich communications services, are still slow in implementation, nonetheless, the recent availability of joyn-enabled smartphones allied to greater commercial deployments should significantly boost traffic in the medium term.

The full report is available for download here.

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