It's no secret SMS is wildly popular, but according to a new report from research firm Ovum, carriers around the world lost quite a bit of revenue last year after mobile phone owners turned to other services to chat with friends.
The research firm revealed yesterday that carriers lost $13.9 billion in SMS revenue in 2011 because of consumers chatting with friends on social-messaging applications. Those applications range from everything from Facebook's mobile app, which features chatting, to instant-messaging apps. Apple's iMessage is also included in that list.
It was a similarly disappointing year for carriers in 2010, when Ovum estimates they lost $8.7 billion because of social-messaging applications.
Even so, according to Ovum, the 2010 and 2011 figures represented just 6 percent and 9 percent of total text message revenue those years, respectively.
"Social messaging has disrupted traditional services, and operators' revenues in this area will come under increasing pressure," Ovum consumer analyst Neha Dharia said yesterday in a statement.
"Tapping into the creativity of app developers, forming industry-wide collaborations, and leveraging their usage data and strong relationships with subscribers are the key ways for operators to ensure that they hold their ground in the messaging market," Dharia added.