Making The Case For Text Messaging

I’ve been giving text messaging a hard time today, noting how I couldn’t get SMS check-in to work and then pointing out the flaws in . But while I can’t claim I’m a manic texter, I suspect reports of texting’s death are somewhat premature.

Picture by Gunnar Bothner-By

A report by Ovum that suggests that $US13.9 billion of potential text messaging revenue has been foregone by people using alternatives (such as social networking) instead. As Alex points out over at Gizmodo, the figure is nonsensical, since it presumes that messages sent using Facebook (or whatever) might otherwise have been texted. Alex goes on to argue that data inclusions are the most important element of a phone plan for him.

I agree that data matters, but there are still some contexts where, at least for now, text messaging can make sense. Two obvious areas:

  • In areas where there’s minimal mobile signal or lots of noise (think nightclubs, big sporting events) sending texts is more useful and reliable than trying to call. Using data services in this case is often a pain too; Facebook doesn’t work well if you’ve got GPRS or no signal.
  • On overseas trips, sending text messages is often cheaper than roaming data (even if it is at double the price of domestic texts).

Where do you still find texting useful?

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