Facts + Figures: Mobile Text Message Usage in the U.S. (Hint: It’s Massive)

Text Message Growth in the U.S.

We hear a lot of feedback, questions and sometimes even a little skepticism regarding text messaging usage in the United States. Many folks understand and are part of the mobile messaging explosion in the U.S. and others need a little more convincing, asking “why don’t they just call or email us if they need something?”

While no one here sends 470 text messages per day, we love text messaging, are excited for it to be used everywhere, understand that it might be better to provide some industry facts regarding text messaging usage and show why we know we’ll see more and more companies embrace the mobile channel as an paramount addition to their businesses. We’ve compiled a quick list for you with links to the reports where possible, will add more as we find them and if you have any, please let us know or post them in the comments section.

  • On average, Americans send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • In 2008, teens and twenty-somethings were by far the largest users of texting, coming in at 85%. In 2009, this continued to be true with teens at 94% and 20-somethings at 87%, but usage also increased for older age groups. Among those in their 40s, usage jumped from 56% to 64%, and for those in their 50s it jumped from 38% to 46%. (The Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report, May 20, 2009)
  • A new online survey of mobile users (sample size not disclosed) conducted in January, 2008 by Amplitude Research has found the following features and considerations to be most important among cell phone buyers:
    * Text messaging: 73%
    * Camera: 67%
    * Ability to access the mobile Internet: 61%
    * Music features: 34%
    * Video: 33%
  • Roughly two-thirds of Hispanics used text messaging services in the last 30 days, about one-fourth utilized mobile Internet, and the same percentage sent an email in the past month. (Nielsen IAG Study, July 4, 2009)


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