The SMS Phenomenon

The SMS (Short Message Service) was part of the GSM specification over 25 years ago. I doubt the developers of the original SMS, who probably also were throwing around concepts such as video phone conferencing, would have anticipated the success of the SMS concept. The removable SIM card and SMS were the two killer features GSM technology had over competing analog networks.

Although, initially the uptake of SMS was slow, since at that time messages could only be sent between users on the same network. However, once message center gateways became established between operators and different networks, the momentum of SMS messages exploded exponentially.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, SMS messages were the bread and butter for most operators. SMS typically is a best effort service and delivery is not guaranteed, the infrastructure support when compared to voice services is minimal and revenue from SMS messaging outweighed the revenue from voice services once the operating cost was deducted from the equation.

However, competition amongst operators eroded this revenue share as contract plans (popular in Western markets) included unlimited text messaging as part of the plan and per message competition in the prepaid space also drove the SMS cost downward.

The increasing volume of text messaging is driving the decline in revenue for mobile operators, as the traditional SMS takes a backseat to other text messaging networks. BlackBerry Messenger, iMessenger and Facebook’s mobile messenger service are taking revenue away from the carriers. For instance, social messaging cost carriers US$14B in SMS revenue. They lost $8.7 billion in SMS revenue in 2010, according to Ovum.

What has further diminished the SMS is services is other text messaging devices that do not not limit the size of the message to 140 characters and uses the concept of group broadcast, sending of pictures, which SMS doesn’t handle. Coupled with instant feedback if a message is unsuccessful, blackberry users will resort to SMS only if their contact doesn’t have a Blackberry. It is indeed a unified messaging platform.

The GSM MMS was a bolt on addition used almost exclusively for early phones with cameras, with the idea you can send a photograph to another user, assuming they also had a MMS capable handset, and this would be the natural successor to SMS. However, the cost and unreliability of MMS services meant that service never hit a chord with the public.

Today, the original SMS protocol accounts for just a fraction of the total volume of messages flying around the ether. The XMPP protocol has become the standard protocol for messaging platforms. Google use it, so does Skype and others. In fact, being an open standard, anyone can setup their own messaging platform. Many private corporations do so for security and accountability reason.

The best thing about XMPP messaging is that a single client can support multiple accounts. For example, you may have a Google talk account for friends and family, a dedicated XMPP Jabber account for work, you could set your available status to unavailable for the Google talk account during the workday and vice versa, with the work account during the weekend and after hours.

So it is no surprise to learn that for the first time text messaging is outstripping the telephone call. Let’s face it, with a phone call there is so much unnecessary “wrapper” protocol which must be included, “Hi, How are you, have you got time to talk about XYZ”. With text messaging it is universally accepted you can just get to the meat of what you want, and keep going. It is ideal for busy people who don’t have time for the dignitaries of a phone call.

Text messages can get you in trouble, though. Due to the mobile spirited ways of text messaging, it is easy to react suddenly and fire off a suitably caustic response to a text message, this is often almost always during the consumption of alcoholic beverages. As we all know, with text messaging what is done cannot be recalled and changed. What we need is a digital personal assistant on smartphone, which is intelligent enough to either delay such a SMS or change it automatically, here’s to hoping!

To conclude, SMS is going to remain the dominant force in mobile technology for several years to come. According to Informa Research, the global SMS traffic will total 9.4 trillion messages by 2016, up from 5.9 trillion messages in 2011. And, the worldwide mobile transaction volume and value to average 42 percent annual growth between 2011 and 2016. Analysts are predicting a market worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016.

America and Asia Pacific mobile operators for instance, derive approximately 40% of their mobile revenue from mobile broadband and messaging. But, while mobile broadband is no doubt the fastest growing revenue stream for operators, mobile messaging and voice aren’t dead just yet, not by a long shot,” notes Stephane Teral, Infonetics Research’s principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics.

“The prophecies of doom for mobile operators’ SMS/MMS cash cow are being overplayed. Despite the popularity of over-the-top messaging applications like Apple’s iMessage and WhatsApp, our data shows SMS growing every year from 2012 to 2016, delivering a cumulative $1 trillion in operator revenue during those five years. And over that same period, voice revenue will decline only slightly, still making up a sizable chunk of operator revenues.”

How to Use WhatsApp As an Emerging Marketing Tool and for Social Media Marketing

How to use WhatsApp as an emerging marketing tool

WhatsApp has been getting more attention since Facebook bought this messaging service application. The service has revamped the way phones have been utilized for advertisement. Taking advantage of WhatsApp, communications are becoming more targeted and distinctive between businesses and customers.

Using customized messages, WhatsApp is a great way of advertising for brands to maximize the benefits of their marketing efforts.

WhatsApp for interaction:

WhatsApp can be adopted as a tool to directly communicate with the persons whom you already know. You can take advantage of WhatsApp to send images, video and text messages of new products to your current clients.

The interaction needs to be one to one, as the audience doesn’t like to be part of a WhatsApp group. One-to-one communication makes them feel special and builds the trust of the customer in your brand.

Create mutual communities of like-minded people:

Take the initiative and create WhatsApp groups of distinct audiences. You can create groups on the basis of their geographical location, interest and demographics. You can also limit the room of your WhatsApp groups such as how many people will be in one group. After doing the complete process, start sending messages to the group.

WhatsApp to organize people:

WhatsApp is most favored by users to communicate with people they know. Take benefit of this fact and use WhatsApp to gather people for a specific cause or an event. Invite people to join the event by sending an invitation on WhatsApp and request them to share it among their WhatsApp group to increase your audience. The more people share the event, the more your audience will grow.

Display a product as profile picture:

To advertise your product via WhatsApp, you can send a news alert but you can make it much better by uploading the product image as profile picture and updating the status so it provides some information about the product. Placing a website URL in the status can also works great to promote your brand.

Revamp the WhatsApp content.

Before sharing an image or a video file via WhatsApp, you need to ensure that the size of file is small so that more users are able to download the file. Because people are more likely to watch a short video on WhatsApp instead of watching a lengthy video.

WhatsApp’s impact on social media marketing

WhatsApp is really an important part of your online social advertising. It is an instant messaging application to communicate with your audience. Social marketers always look for a compelling method to get the attention of their existing customers as well as find new customers.

This App allows real-time two-way communication with the audience who matters the most to you and your business. The main objective of WhatsApp marketing is to engage your prospective audience. WhatsApp is a multi-purpose, user friendly application which helps you to attain your business goals.

Here are some business objectives where WhatsApp can yield great results –


WhatsApp permits its users to create groups to communicate and text anything to a group of people at once without having to send it individually to every user. It is a direct and instant way to send the messages and reach your potential customers.

Messages are sent to the user’s mobile, which is really important for marketers and businesses. The message is viewed within few minutes, as people like to check their phones when any kind of notification appears on the screen. Broadcasting can modernize the communication with your customers.

You can update new product launches and services by sending them text and news alerts instantly to make audience aware about your business.

Boost Customer Engagement:

The Audiences don’t like to see a list of promotional emails in their mobile inbox. But WhatsApp is not only about advertising your products and services. You can do much more with WhatsApp such as sending text, images, videos, audio, emoticons, vouchers and GPS location to your audience.

WhatsApp also provides audio and video calling features for better communication. It is mainly based on one-to-one communication which is the prominent method to make your customers happy, boost awareness and ROI.

Low cost brand management:

Small ventures and local businesses have low budgets for advertising their brand and products on the internet. WhatsApp works great for these kind of businesses. WhatsApp uses mobile internet data to send and receive messages. This application is free for one year, after that you need to pay an annual subscription fee of $0.99 USD, where other online marketing technologies cost you much more money.

Businesses can utilize WhatsApp to communicate internally or with customers and thus make communication more effective or keep in touch with your existing audience. You can resolve their queries via WhatsApp and ask for feedback, reviews and testimonials.

Including WhatsApp in your online advertising campaigns will assist you to increase your brand’s positioning and improve brand management.

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