WeChat, WeChat Messaging App, Instant Messages

We knew mobile messaging was popular, but what we didn’t know exactly, was just how popular it was. Thanks to new data, we now have an idea: more popular than SMS (text) messaging.

Research firm Informa announced today that six of the most popular mobile chat applications, including WhatsApp, Viber, Nimbuzz, and KakaoTalk, averaged nearly 19 billion messages sent and received worldwide each day in 2012, with an estimated 17.6 billion SMS messages sent each day.

nearly 50 billion mobile app messages will be sent next year, compared to 21 billion SMS

According to GigaOm, nearly 50 billion messages will be sent next year over mobile applications, compared to 21 billion text messages.

Another study released by research firm Ovum on Monday showed that messaging apps will cost mobile operators worldwide $32.6 billion of lost revenue in 2013. That loss will reach as high as $86 billion by 2020.

SMS messaging has been an easy way for carriers to generate some additional revenue, and many customers have felt the service should be free with any rate plan. Many plans now do include unlimited messaging, which has resulted in lowered revenues for carriers. The loss of messaging revenue is also hit by the messaging apps, but carriers have started moving toward a more data-centric frame of mind in order to appease customers and developers while keeping their pocketbooks safe.

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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at http://www.joshrobertnay.com.