10 reasons why companies will keep on texting: Cassio Bobsin Machado, CEO Zenvia

Casio MachadoEvery week, we ask  our members to sum up everything we need to know about a given topic in 10 easy-to-digest bites.  This week  Cassio Bobsin Machado, CEO at Brazilian SMS company, Zenvia, gives us ten reasons why SMS still endures.  

Texting fever hit the world throughout the last decade, driving a new behaviour on almost every mobile user from 8 to 80.  In 2002 some 250 billion SMS were sent, meanwhile 2012 saw 6.7 trillion text messages beeping worldwide.

As mobile operators figured out how to charge some bits of information for a few cents, this massive adoption created a tremendous and profitable cash cow, with total revenues estimated to reach USD150 billion in 2013.

Few threats seemed to affect this blue ocean, until the rise of Smartphones and the mobile Internet, especially when the messaging landscape had the debut of over-the-top services (OTT) like Blackberry’s BBM, Apple’s iMessage and companies such as WhatsApp and Viber. At some point people started questioning themselves why would they pay to text with their closest peers, considering they could do it almost for free.

Although these new services changed industry forecasts on peer-to-peer texting revenues, the same doesn’t really apply for application-to-peer messaging, do you know why?

Here we’ll explore 10 reasons why companies will keep on texting, driving texting revenue growth to mobile operators for the next decade.

  1. SMS is universal: No other messaging technology is naturally cross-country, cross-operator and cross-platform, a big deal for companies that need to reach large consumer bases.
  2. SMS is a de facto standard: SMS is the only messaging technology that is fully deployed and standardized on every mobile worldwide; although some standards such as MMS and RCS were deployed, they still lack traction and are not strong competitors to SMS in the enterprise.
  3. SMS still has a unique value proposition: The SMS value proposition is still unbeatable regarding its ubiquity, simplicity and awareness; no other messaging technology achieves all aspects, especially ubiquity.
  4. SMS is easy: Text messages are easier to produce than any other multimedia content, and companies are doing really well with those 160 characters, as it helps them go straight to the point.
  5. OTTs won’t allow broadcasts: OTT networks probably won’t allow SMS broadcasts for fear of privacy concerns and user criticism, some may develop APIs but probably for transactional purposes.
  6. OTTs won’t interconnect each other: A lot of factors stop OTT networks from interconnecting, like mobile operators in the past.  Until that barrier is removed it won’t be easy to consider them as potentially large consumer bases because of their heterogeneity.
  7. M2M benefits of SMS protocol: The whole mobile industry bets that the Internet of Things will drive the next billions of connected devices, and M2M devices will largely benefit from texting as its core ‘ping’ protocol, as data pooling is not as efficient as the network signalling technology in which SMS is based.
  8. Large feature phone base:Companies will still face a large percentage of feature phones particularly in developing countries, mainly because of their cheap price points and simplicity.
  9. Messaging needs ubiquity: Some people don’t want many different messaging channels in their lives.  Its is likely they will stick to texting and avoid other sorts of messaging apps.
  10. Huge potential for enterprise texting: SMS usage by companies is on the rise, as professionals are still discovering the benefits of adopting texting in their business processes.

Despite the dynamic world of technology, it is quite easy to understand why companies will keep on texting for the foreseeable future. In the long term, we’ll see rise and fall of other messaging standards and apps, but it is likely that most of them won’t outlive good and old SMS.

Cassio Bobsin Machado is CEO at  Zenvia – You can follow Zenvia on twitter here and connect with Cassio on LinkedIn

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