Data analysis commissioned by insurance provider Row shows that the use of text and picture messages has fallen by almost a third since its peak in 2011. The decline is attributable to the reduction in cost of mobile data plans, and the dramatic rise in usage of more feature rich mobile messaging services such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger.
WhatsApp’s own data shows that the messaging app reached one billion active users in February 2016, an increase from 700 million in January 2015. As of January this year, WhatsApp became the most popular global mobile messaging app, with the number of users beating out Facebook Messenger (800 million) and Skype (300 million). WhatsApp has seen huge growth since its acquisition by Facebook back in February 2014 for $16 billion.
Voice minutes seem to be rising slightly, at the expense of the landline as Row’s analysis shows that in the 12 months to the end of September last year, the mobile minutes used have climbed by 15% from 123 billion and landline minutes have dropped by a third from 112 billion when compared to 2011.
Backing this up, new data from communications network company Cisco shows that the average monthly smartphone data traffic in the UK during 2015 was 1.2 GB, an increase from the average of 849MB per month in 2014.
We’re already seeing some mobile networks have to push back on their mobile data provision though as this increase sky rockets. Three the only network offering unlimited mobile data plans (AYCE) has recently had to increase its monthly cost of this from £15/month (SIM only) to £20/month to cope with the demand.
Usage of mobile data has jumped as mobiles become the