Voice being replaced by Text and Data

August 28, 2010 at 4:06 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Consider the death of the voice call [capably considered by Clive Thomson, recently] and its replacement by Text (SMS) and other communication services (that run over data services). Teen behavior increasingly shows their preference for SMS over voice. It’s hard to believe that teen SMS use has increased almost 600% in the past 2 years [“How Teens Use Media,” Nielsen 2009], while their Voice minutes have declined by at least 25%. And data use is growing almost as fast – data has increased at least 300% (its use is doubling each year by the general populace). Among smartphone users, data services are the primary activity, not voice. So the scorecard for teen use over the past 2 years reads:

Text replaces Voice for Teens

Voice: -25%
Text: +566%
Data: +300%

The type of communication is fundamentally changing. Younger consumers increasingly replace a real-time interaction (e.g., conversation) with an asynchronous interaction (text/IM/e-mail). SInce these interactions can be performed whenever they want, they feel that this type of communication is less intrusive (reflect their preference to have shorter interactions at a time of their choosing). This style of communication also fits our growing tendency to multi-task and avoid extended focus on a single topic.


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  1. […] days of voice plans are ending. The menu of services will change to reflect changing customer […]

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