A report published by the Mobile Data Association shows that Britain's love affair with text messages is still going strong; nearly 400 million text messages were sent on the 31st of December 2008, a 37 percent growth year-on-year.
Brits sent nearly 79 billion texts last year, that's 216 million a day (nearly 3500 per second), which is a 38.6 percent increase over 2007 and compares well with the 41.8 billion texts sent in 2006.
In comparison, only 4.5 million MMS messages were sent on Christmas day in 2008, compared to 3.26 million on Christmas 2007, and in total, 553 million MMS were sent in 2008, a 23 percent increase in 2007.
Commenting on the figures, MDA Chairman Steve Reynolds said that: "It's fascinating to see the evolution of mobile technology, most compelling is the way users define its use and application."
In related news, Verisign announced that it delivered more than 224 billion texts in 2008, a 134 percent increase over 2007. The company also also said that 3.5 billion SMS messages will be sent in North America on St Valentine's day, today. Verisign delivered more than 224 billion messages last year, three out of every five messages in North America.
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Those figures are bound to go well beyond 500 billion texts in 2009. Many mobile phone contracts now come with unlimited texts. Both 3 Mobile and O2 offer unlimited text packages with free mobile phones for as little as £15 per month. The success of Twitter - a microblogging service which is limited to 140 characters - is partly due to the popularity of text messages.