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Global Mobile Media - Messaging Services and Messaging Apps Insights


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The overall popularity of mobile messaging services has remained strong on the back of the introduction of capped data changes, smart phones and bundled services. However carrier provided SMS and MMS services revenue is expected to gradually decline over the next few years as consumers turn towards other forms of messaging; particularly free messaging services offered by social networks and instant messaging mobile apps. The rise of alternative mobile messaging services is becoming a serious threat to the traditional operators and considered to be a disruptive development. This report provides a global overview of the key trends occurring for SMS, email, Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM), and Unified Communication (UC) sectors, including broad statistics, where available.

Key developments

The messaging industry generates hundreds of billions in revenue each year. While SMS still accounts for the majority, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of MIM, driven by the increased usage of mobile broadband services around the world; Unified Communication solutions are still primarily focused on the enterprise segment but smartphones have provided a form of basic UC to consumers; In early 2013 mobile photo messaging began to receive attention following Facebook’s launch of a mobile app called Poke which is along the lines of an already established self-destructing mobile app called Snapchat. However by mid 2013, Facebook Poke was not faring as well as Snapchat in the popularity stakes. Self-destructing email is the next frontier.

Companies mentioned in this report

Snapchat; WhatsApp; Facebook Poke; Twitter; Skype; Sybase 365; Apple iMessage.


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile messaging insights
2.1 The declining SMS market
2.2 Premium SMS (PSMS)
2.3 Is Mobile Voice over IP (MoIP) a threat to SMS and voice revenues?
2.4 Permission-based SMS
3. Smartphone and Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM)
4. Mobile photo-messaging and self destruction
5. Email/mobile email
5.1 Self-destructing email
6. Unified Communications (UC)
6.1 Early days
6.2 UC&C today
7. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)
7.1 Store-and-forward messaging services
7.2 Early providers
7.3 USSD analysis
8. Big Data and the messaging/UC segment
8.1 M2M a key global trend (separate report)
9. Related reports
Table 1 - Global mobile services and mobile data revenue – 2012; 2013; 2016
Table 2 – Worldwide number of email users – 2009 - 2014
Exhibit 1 - A brief history - SMS
Exhibit 2 - Definition: Premium SMS
Exhibit 3 – Sybase 365
Exhibit 4 – Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM)
Exhibit 5 – Examples of popular Mobile Instant Messaging Apps - 2013
Exhibit 6 – Key benefits of USSD

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