Thursday, July 04, 2013

Death of SMS Messaging

One, two, three, four, five, six...

No, wait! This is not blog for kindergarten kids. I was just counting the number of messaging apps on my phone. 
  1. The native messaging app that comes along in the phone 
  2. WhatsApp 
  3. Google Hangout (earlier Gtalk) 
  4. Facebook Messenger 
  5. Skpe 
  6. WeChat (till sometime back) 
Previously, I also had Viber. Like WeChat I removed it. How many do you have?
Couple of days back, BSNL, India's telecom behemoth, announced the winding up of probably the original SMS in India.   

The news made me wonder if SMS as a native app will also meet the same fate. The short life of Short Messaging Service? 

Do I need six apps for messaging? What differentiation does SMS anyway bring to the table? 

Cost did you say? Probably, there was a time when the number of free SMS used to be a differentiating factor while choosing a plan. For years now, I haven't kept track of SMS usage. 

Does it work cheaper then say an IP based Messenger such as WhatsApp? I seriously don't know. Actually, I don't care. 

In one of my previous jobs, my colleague and I had a discussion about the low cost PR agencies which spoilt the market for a large, high-fee charging national agencies. I told her that such low cost agencies are good for national agencies because without them the value that a national agency with its reach and good trained manpower is never realized by clients. Similarly, even if SMS is cheaper, I presume, users will prefer messaging tool that provides them greater user experience. 

I always had trouble sending an image though MMS, the superior cousin of SMS. But with WhatsApp, it is a breeze! 

It is also much more cooler to use the messaging apps then a plain vanilla SMS app. Yes, I know SMS Pro type apps spruce up the native app but then why bother? 

I can't think of any reason as to why I would want to use SMS. Internet on mobile is a reality and will certainly become ubiquitous. Other certainty is that every phone will be "smart" in some ways or other supporting such messaging apps.  

What happens to my alerts regarding bank, credit card or any other utilities? Tough one. Isn't there a way that that can be accommodated in CRM for customer contact? See, there's a business opportunity for some! 

Somehow I am not able to convince myself that SMS, in its current form, will last. Would it? 

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