Text messages are handy, but unless you're on an unlimited plan you'll pay for every one you send. So it's unsurprising that a study by Analysys Mason suggests that 45 per cent of smartphone owners use an alternative messaging service as well.
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The study is based on monitoring of 1000 phones in Europe, but I'd be surprised if a similar pattern wasn't also evident in Australia. Whether you're using an option built into your phone platform (such as iMessage or BBM) or a separate platform such as WhatsApp or Viber, being able to send messages without worrying about the cost can be useful.
That doesn't mean text messaging is disappearing; 97 per cent of those in the study also used regular texting as well. Given that you can send an SMS to anyone with a mobile but have to persuade friends and family to use a specific app, that's not altogether surprising. Just 1.7 per cent of those in the study had stopped using SMS altogether.
Caution is always advised with apps that use your data allowance. If you don't have a particularly generous data allocation, the cost of using a 'free' app can accumulate, especially if you're on a contract. Using messaging apps across Wi-Fi is a safer alternative.
Have you shifted your messaging from texting to other apps? Tell us (and tell us why) in the comments.