[VoiceOps] SMS apps, providers, and peers

Peter Beckman beckman at angryox.com
Tue Dec 8 00:32:57 EST 2009

On Mon, 7 Dec 2009, Alex Balashov wrote:

> [W]hy would anyone bother, at this point, to make serious investments in
> SMS-related services[?]
> SMS is widely used and nearly universal, but like anything else founded on 
> the sort of inherent tension I just described, its days are numbered.  I 
> would encourage forward-thinking voice companies to help assist in its demise 
> rather than spin their wheels and perpetuate it.  You'll be that much the 
> poorer.

  Because while it probably will be swallowed by something else someday,
  it's here now, and there is a demand for it.  So many services, at least
  in the US, allow for easy access to services via short codes.  It's a
  ubiquitous service that if you know the DID is a mobile number (or
  SMS-enabled virtual phone number), you can send an SMS and you can be
  confident that your message was likely displayed on the end-users phone
  (or email, or something).  You don't need to have AIM installed, or know
  their handle, or use some third party service.  You know the phone number?
  You can send a text message.

  I'm surprised you see this as a bad time to put money into SMS-related
  services.  1.9 to 2 million tweets per day [1][2] -- lots of money and
  development going there. 4.1 billion SMS messages sent per day in the US
  alone [4] (3.5 billion per day in 2008 [5]).  If you don't see a revenue
  opportunity there, then Alex, we need to have a beer. :-)

  There are 6.4 billion minutes of use on the wireless side of things alone
  made every day in the US [6], and we're all over that, even with slim
  margins (I couldn't find a source for total number of minutes of use per
  day in the US across landline and mobile).  4.1 billion SMS messages is
  more that the number of phone calls.  It'd be nuts NOT to invest in that,
  especially if you are already investing in VoIP/Telephony.  Sure, it may
  disappear eventually, but right now it's a pretty huge deal.  Make your
  money while it's hot.


[1] http://news.buzzgain.com/how-many-tweets-does-it-take-to-be-a-trending-topic-on-twitter/
[2] http://www.mahalo.com/answers/social-media/how-many-tweets-and-facebook-status-messages-are-sent-per-day
[3] http://dimacs.rutgers.edu/Workshops/NJHomeland/abstracts.html
[4],[6] http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20091007006200&newsLang=en
[5] http://www.intomobile.com/2009/04/06/americans-sent-1-trillion-sms-text-messages-in-2008.html

Peter Beckman                                                  Internet Guy
beckman at angryox.com                                 http://www.angryox.com/

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