SMS Facts - The Text Messaging Marketplace By The Numbers

SMS Text Messaging continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Once an exclusively European phenomenon, Text Messaging has taken off in the United States in a big way. How big? Check out these facts and figures:

The Market Today
In the United States there are currently over 250 Million wireless subscribers.

As of June 2007, there are 28.8 Billion Text Messages sent per month in the US. That works out to an annualized rate of 240.8 Billion Text Messages. (CTIA)

In August 2007, 92.5 million, or 43 percent, of mobile subscribers actively engaged in text messaging. Of these 92.5 million mobile subscribers, 41 million send text messages almost every day. (Forbes)

According to M:Metrics, 15% of all U.S. wireless customers sent photo messages in October 2006. (CTIA)

Market research has attributed 52% of mobile content consumption in the U.S. to Hispanic wireless users.  (CTIA)

Interesting Facts
Available to more than 93% of mobile subscribers, Wireless AMBER Alerts is an initiative that allows wireless subscribers to opt in to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts as free text messages on their cell phones. (CTIA)

The Basics
SMS Definition - SMS was originally defined as part of the GSM series of standards in 1985 as a means of sending messages of up to 160 characters, to and from GSM mobile handsets.


Mobile Marketing
Right Now - According to industry estimates, well over one billion dollars will be spent on mobile advertising globally in 2007, and by all accounts the mobile advertisingmarket is poised for exponential growth over the next several years.


Microsoft bringing ads to mobile devices

The C|net News blog is reporting that Microsoft is rolling out a new mobile ad platform:

Microsoft is set to launch on Monday its first mobile advertising.

Going forward, people will be able to see mini banner ads optimized for their browser type and screen size on their mobile devices when they visit the MSN Mobile portal, which works on any mobile phone, said Phil Holden, director for online services for Microsoft.

The MSN Mobile portal offers news, information on weather and stocks, as well as movie reviews and listings. It also offers access to search, Hotmail, Messenger, and Windows Live Spaces.

MSN Mobile will also now enable users to buy movie tickets over the phone with a credit card and download background images and ringtones.

The initial advertisers are Bank of America, Paramount Pictures, and Jaguar.

See the original story @ C|net

More Than One-Third Of U.S. Pre-Teens Have A Mobile Phone

Mobile Marketing Is The Future:

PRE-TEENS IN THE U.S. ARE more connected than ever before, thanks to the widespread use of mobile phones.   

The Nielsen Co. released the findings of an in-depth study on the mobile media and cross-media behavior of U.S. "tweens" (ages 8-12). The report estimates that: 35% of tweens own a mobile phone, 20% of tweens have used text messaging, and 21% of tweens have used ring & answer tones.

While text-messaging and ringtones remain the most pervasive non-voice functions on the phone, other content such as downloaded wallpapers, music, games and Internet access also rank high among tweens. According to Nielsen, 5% of tweens access the Internet over their phone each month. While 41% of tween mobile Internet users say they do so while commuting or traveling (to school, for example), mobile content such as the Internet is also a social medium for this audience: 26% of tween mobile Internet users say they access the Web while at a friend's house, and 17% say they do so at social events.

Forget toys--texting and downloading are preferred activities of the tween set, who are turning to their phones for in-home entertainment. About 58% of tweens who download or watch TV on their phone do so at home, 64% of tweens who download or play music on their phone do so at home, and 56% of tweens who access the Internet on their phone do so at home.



Read more @ OnlineMediaDaily








AT&T confirms 3G iPhone due next year

AT&T let slip some exciting news last week:

A long-anticipated 3G version of the iPhone is guaranteed for 2008, AT&T's head has told a meeting of the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, California. "You'll have it next year," said CEO Randall Stephenson.

Apple, notoriously tight-lipped, refused to comment on the AT&T CEO's remarks. Some people have begun to speculate about the uncharacteristic leak:

...the better question is why Stephenson said it and why now?  For AT&T, his announcement looks, frankly, stupid.

Here's a guy who is head of the largest telephone company in America and its largest mobile phone company. He has a five-year iPhone exclusive giving AT&T the number one selling U.S. smart phone and a huge generator of primo subscribers mainly poached from other carriers. Christmas is a month away and 1-2 million Americans have been planning to give -- or hoping to get -- an iPhone. So what does the guy do? He lets it slip that next year Apple will release a faster iPhone that will make the existing model obsolete. The only impact this can have on current iPhone sales is to stop them in their tracks, unless Apple offers a free 3G upgrade, which believe me they never intended to offer and may not.

So, what is AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson up to?

I don't think Stephenson's statement was by accident and I don't think he is out of touch with reality. I think, instead, he was sending a $1 billion message to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

It is no coincidence that Stephenson made his remarks in Silicon Valley, rather than in San Antonio or New York. He came to the turf of his "partner" and delivered a message that will hurt Apple as much as AT&T, a message that says AT&T doesn't really need Apple despite the iPhone's success.

It's one thing to have a private disagreement between companies but quite another to take it public in a way that costs real money.

What I believe is troubling the relationship between AT&T and Apple is the upcoming auction for 700-MHz wireless spectrum and AT&T's discovery that -- as I have predicted for weeks -- Apple will be joining Google in bidding. AT&T thought its five-year "exclusive" iPhone agreement with Apple would have precluded such a bid, but that just shows how poorly Randall Stephenson understood Steve Jobs. Steve always hurts his friends to see how much they really love him, so AT&T probably should have expected this kind of corporate body blow.

To his credit, Stephenson took the dispute to the streets this way, showing he isn't intimidated by Jobs. It was a bold and rare response for big business and was definitely unexpected by Cupertino, which won't underestimate AT&T again.

Read more analysis @ PBS.

High Customer Recall Rates For Mobile Ads

IP Business News recently reported on an interesting study of customer recall rates for various forms of mobile advertisements:

As for the expected consumer backlash, 82 percent of experienced brands claim to have completed a financial action as a result of a subscriber being sent a mobile marketing message, and while that’s not a direct indicator of consumer sentiment, it doesn’t suggest overwhelming disproval.

And there’s even better news for those who have dipped their toes into mobile marketing. In a study from the first quarter of this year by Telephia, 41 percent of mobile video consumers responded in some way to a mobile advertisement, while recall rates across the various platforms of mobile advertising ranged from 20 to 55 percent, with mobile video enjoying the highest recall rates.

Head over to IP Business News for charts, analysis, and more.

Firing Employee for “Calling in Sick” Via Text Message Deemed Unfair

Today we take a look at the lighter side of texting:

If a company can fire a worker via text message, then why can’t a worker “call in sick” via text message?

Apparently he can, an Edinburgh employment tribunal has ruled. Or at least, if an excuse via text message has been accepted once, it has to be accepted again, unless notice to the employee about the change in procedure is given.

Mark Morrison worked as a sales adviser for tile shop Tile It All. When his brother passed away last December, he sent a text message to his manager, Robert Selley, to inform him, and later sent another text message indicating he would be on sick leave until after the funeral.

Upon returning, Morrison heard nothing adverse about his method of informing his employer. Four days later, he again stayed home, telling his manager via text message (over five consecutive days) that he was depressed and not coming to work.

This time when he returned he was dismissed for “failure to follow company procedures.” Policy indicated that he should notifty for reporting absences. The policy stated that absences should be notified by phone calls.

However, the tribunal said that since Tile It All had accepted his notification one week, and hadn’t informed him of any problem, they could not dismiss him for using the same method the next week.

Read the entire article @ RealTechNews

What Are We Thankful For On Thanksgiving? Text Messaging Of Course

Cory Treffiletti at the Online Spin blog writes about some of the things he's thankful for this Thanksgiving:

I am thankful for the iPhone and the ability to take my music everywhere with me, in my phone and on my person. I am especially thankful for the fact that the iPhone comes with a TWO-piece headset, making it easier to block out street noise while calling when away from the office. Why no one thought of that before boggles my mind.

I am thankful for text messaging because it allows me to stay in contact with my fiancé and shoot happy little notes to her at any time of day, making her smile on the other end.

Happy Thanksgiving from Club Texting.


New Report: Revenue From Mobile Data Service Continues To Rise

OnlineMediaDaily relays this report from Chetan Sharma Consulting:

For the first nine months of 2007, mobile data revenues reached $17.7 billion, increasing 59% from the year-earlier period. Verizon led the way with $5.4 billion in mobile data sales, followed by AT&T with $4.95 billion, and Sprint at $3.7 billion.

Read the entire article @ MediaPost's OnlineMediaDaily.

The New York Times Now Offers Mobile Real Estate Listings!

The New York Times has made it easy to get information about properties on your mobile device, regardless of whether you are looking in the newspaper, on the Web site or searching directly from a mobile device.


From the newspaper:  To get more information about a print ad, text the property ID from a real estate classified to a mobile device.

From your mobile device: To search for properties directly from your mobile device, go to and enter your property criteria (such as location and price) or  find a specific property by listing ID.

For more details on the program, visit the New York Times' website.

For more information about Club Texting's Real Estate Tools check out our Text Messaging For Real Estate section.

Short Code Basics

RCR Wireless News published an informative article about Short Codes last week.  Whether you're thinking about launching your first mobile marketing campaign, or your a seasoned pro, it's worth a read:

At almost every event I attend, whether for mobile specifically, digital, advertising, etc., dialogue almost always shifts to a discussion around Common Short Code (CSC) mobile campaigns. Those five- or six-digit text messaging (or SMS) numbers marketers provide to consumers so they can interactively engage in a mobile marketing campaign.

Why is everybody talking about Short Codes?

...although many companies are talking about the image-rich opportunities, like video, MMS and so on, text-based campaigns still serve the lion’s share of the initiatives today.

There is a lot of information, but for a quick overview of what a Short Code is and how it works, read on:

One of the most popular examples today in America is “Deal or No Deal." Viewers may participate in the program by texting the Lucky Case to 59595 for a chance to win $10,000. Rather than have consumers enter a long telephone number (xxx-xxx-xxxx), marketers offer the CSC to simplify participation and drive consumer interactions. It is that simple!

In the United States, the CSC process is managed by the Common Short Code Administration (CSCA) and is supported by all of the wireless carriers, mobile application service providers (MASPs), and aggregators. Any company may acquire a short code, but it must work within the guidelines and application process outlined by the CSCA in order to obtain their codes. Brands should also be aware there are monthly leasing rates that apply to each and every short code, very similar to the URL process, although rates are higher than what you might have paid for your Web site. Once your application is submitted to the CSCA, the CSCA will work with each of the carriers to ensure the short code is configured across your selected operator’s networks (for example, some programs may select all carriers, while others may select only one carrier on which to deploy).

Currently, there are two types of short codes available: random and vanity. Random CSCs are numbers the CSCA randomly assigns; vanity CSCs are selected based on the brand's requirements (and obviously availability of the number from the CSCA). For example, 01234 would be a random number, whereas NIKE1 could be a vanity code for Nike.

Read the entire article @ RCR Wireless News.

Marketers Reach Key Demos Via Mobile

Insight Express put out an important new study this week:

MARKETERS STRUGGLING TO ENGAGE ELUSIVE 18- to-24-year-olds need look no further than mobile devices, according to new findings from market research firm InsightExpress.

Members of Generation Y now use their mobile phones to take 76% of all personal calls, according to an online survey of some 2,000 young mobile device owners in October, conducted by Stamford, Conn.-based InsightExpress.

Over half of the Gen Yers--or 56%--report spending time looking for new things to do with their mobile phones. That engagement leaves the door open for marketers to reach young consumers with short attention spans and busy digital social lives.

Read the entire article at OnlineMediaDaily.

New Service GoMobo Lets You Text Your Delivery Orders In NYC

Thrillist reports on an exciting new tool for hungry texters:

GoMobo's a free, NY-based service that uses text messaging to remove human error/annoyingness from the ordering process -- like a SkyNet for your stomach, but decades away from self-aware falafel. Just pick your favorite spot and input your go-to meal (e.g., Atomic Wings burger, medium rare, American cheese, bacon, onions, ketchup, mustard, no mayo, side salad, side o' ranch, fruit cup) and Mobo will assign it a code (e.g., "1"). Whenever you desire said feast, simply text the code to Mobo, which'll notify the restaurant, charge your card on file, factor in tip, etc, and make note of any special instructions -- like "Don't pack cold Coke with hot pizza", or "If mugged, protect Lo Mein with life".

Find out more at

SMS Powered Interactive Street Art

Credo Mobile is taking it to the streets.

The progressive mobile phone provider, a division of Working Assets, this week launched an integrated campaign from independent SS+K, Los Angeles, that positions the company as a provider of social change.

As part of the campaign, Credo is producing political street theater in select cities using projected cartoon images on the sides of buildings drawn by political satirist Tom Tomorrow. Images of people such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are shown next to blank dialogue boxes. Passersby can use their mobile phones to text in what they think the characters should say and then the words appear as part of the images.

Read  the entire article @ Adweek.

The 101 Gadgets That Changed The World

The Belfast Telegraph recently unveiled a list of 101 gadgets that changed the world. Though the Abacus comes in at number one, mobile technology certainly makes a showing on the list:

10. Blackberry, 1999

Ask the average office worker they think of their Blackberry and they will variously call it a boon and a curse. Developed by the Canadian firm Research in Motion and unleashed in 1999, the gizmo has provided legions of roaming desk jockeys with a hotline to their inboxes, and enabled armies of bosses to keep employees digitally shackled to their swivel chairs. The addictiveness of the device led it to be dubbed the "Crackberry".

37. GPS, 1978

Determining your location used to require such cumbersome devices as a map, compass and ruler. Now a single press of a button (and up to 32 satellites) will pinpoint your precise position to within a couple of metres. Great for explorers, paramedics and pilots – not so good for unwitting Latvian lorry drivers sent on cross-country wild goose chases by budget sat-navs. Developed by the US military in the 1970s, the Global Positioning System has been globally available since 1994.

54. Mobile phone, 1947

There are more than two billion mobile phones in the world, and the EU is home to more "cells", as the American's call them, than people. It is difficult to quantify the economic and social impact of the device – of all the gadgets in the average person's arsenal, it is surely the one we would be worst off without. Those who disagree can blame Bell Laboratories for their invention; the firm introduced the first service in Missouri in 1947. Widespread coverage in Britain did not begin until the late 1980s.

76. SMS, 1992

Linguist purists H8 txtspk. The Short Message Service (SMS) has developed the thumbs of a generation of communicators who have devised their own shorthand, textspeak, to stay in touch (and uncover extra-marital affairs). The British engineer Neil Papworth sent the first (unabbreviated) text 15 years ago. It read: "MERRY CHRISTMAS". Their popularity exploded in the late 1990s and now in the UK alone we send millions every day (a record 214 million last New Year's Eve).

How the Blackberry is 44 places higher than the cellphone itself is a bit of a head-scratcher, but the list still makes for an interesting read.

101 Gadgets That Changed The World (via 160 Characters Association)

Google Finally Phone Plans - Open Source Mobile OS 'Android'

The Google Phone has arrived, sort of, but not in the long-rumored embodiment that many had expected. Google announced this morning that it has developed a new mobile OS called "Android"—a result of its acquisition of a mobile software company of the same name in 2005—that will allow the company to get Google's mobile apps into as many hands as possible starting in mid-2008. Android is Linux-based and open source, and aspects of the platform will be made available to handset manufacturers for free under the Apache license.

So who's involved?

Google's handset partners upon launch will include Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG, confirming many of the recent rumors that Google would not be developing the hardware on its own. Google has a number of carrier partners worldwide as well, such as T-Mobile and Sprint in the US, T-Mobile/Deutsche Telekom in Europe, and China Mobile in China, to name a few. The whole thing comes as part of the Open Handset Alliance—also announced by Google today.

Read the entire article @ Ars Technica

Sources: Google In Talks With Verizon

The Google-Phone-Mobile-Etc. Rumor Mill Keeps Churning:

Google Inc is in active talks with number-two U.S. mobile carrier Verizon Wireless about putting Google applications on phones it offers, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

"There are good useful talks going on and they could result in a deal," one of the sources said.

So far talks between the Web search leader and Verizon Wireless, owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc, revolve around technology and potential business models such as advertising-sponsored services, one of the people said.

And following up on the story earlier in the month--Details Emerge About The GPhone. It's Not A Phone:

The [Wall Street] Journal reported that Google was expected in two weeks to announce advanced software and services, enabling handset makers to sell Google-powered phones by mid-2008, citing people familiar with the matter. Google declined to comment.

Read the entire article @ Reuters.

American Magazine Conference: Mags Must Embrace Mobile

Today's edition of MediaDailyNews features coverage of a recent Magazine Publishing trade conference. The message from a number of speakers was clear:

MAGAZINES HAVE BEEN slow to launch mobile content initiatives. They must shift into high gear--or risk missing out on a new wave of digital commerce that will rival the emergence of the Internet as an economic engine in the 1990s, according to mobile media and measurement executives speaking at the American Magazine Conference on Monday.

Read the  entire article @ MediaDailyNews.

AOL Ramps Up Mobile Efforts

AOL recently unveiled a new mobile portal, hoping to compete with Yahoo and Google, who have both made progress this year in the mobile space:

The upgrades include more mobile-friendly incarnations of AOL Search, Mail, MapQuest, and AOL Instant Messenger, among other features from AOL's home page. The new mobile search, for instance, will offer results that are more tailored to users on the go, such as driving directions and click-to-call options linked to services like MapQuest and Moviefone.

A mobilized myAOL service will enable users to personalize the AOL mobile site by selecting news headlines, pictures, and RSS feeds to their liking. Separately, AOL plans to launch AOL MyMobile, a new application similar to Yahoo's Go service, by year's end.

It will allow Mobile Windows users to download a range of AOL services such as Mail, Cityguide and Search, and will remember recent requests to help speed searches on the fly. Recently acquired mobile ad platform Third Screen Media will supply targeted advertising to AOL MyMobile.

A new mobile widget for GPS-enabled phones will also allow AIM users to locate each other, marking a step by AOL into the mobile social networking area pioneered by companies like Dodgeball and Zingku.

As part of the new mobile push, AOL is also formally launching Winamp Remote, letting people access and listen to music stored on their computers from on their cell phones.

If these services work as promised, they should be fairly successful, as they extend current properties, which already have large, loyal subscriber counts. Read the entire article @ Online Media Daily.

M:Metrics Study: 92.5 Million Active SMS Users Make Short Code-Based Mobile Marketing the Most Effective Platform for Mobile Advertisers

A new study by M:Metrics affirms what we've believed since we started texting:

NeuStar, Inc. announced today that Common Short Code (CSC)-based messaging campaigns have been cited as an "unprecedented platform for marketing" in a recent report published by mobile media research firm M:Metrics. The M:Metrics report, which can be downloaded for free at the U.S. Common Short Codes website (, states that CSCs are an effective way to engage and drive consumer response across various media channels.

Accessible to more than 95 percent of mobile users, CSCs are short five- and six-digit numbers with which mobile phone users can send and receive text and multimedia messages using the capabilities that come standard with virtually every handset made. Among the many advantages CSCs provide to advertisers today are the greatest reach to mobile users (versus all other mobile marketing methods); user-generated opt-in; ease of use; very low cost; ease of channel integration; and demonstrated impact across a host of campaign types and objectives.

"In the United States, CSCs represent the only universal way for brands to connect with almost all mobile users," said Evan Neufeld, vice president and senior analyst at M:Metrics. "In August 2007, 92.5 million, or 43 percent, of mobile subscribers actively engaged in text messaging. Of these 92.5 million mobile subscribers, 41 million send text messages almost every day. Not only is this number impressive as a stand-alone figure, but it is exponentially higher than the potential reach of the next available mobile advertising method."

"CSCs create a level of interaction that is unparalleled in any other medium," said Diane Strahan, vice president of mobile at NeuStar. "The M:Metrics study offers detailed proof of what mobile marketing-savvy organizations across many industry verticals have speculated: that CSCs provide brands with the broadest and the most targeted way to reach today's mobile consumer. As texting continues to increase in popularity, advertising agencies and marketers are focusing more and more on CSCs as a preferred mobile medium of choice. These firms are embracing CSCs not only to reach today's on-the-go consumer directly, but also to transform traditional print, broadcast and outdoor advertising into truly interactive touchpoints -- thus building significant loyalty among key audiences."

Read the story @ CNN Money or download the report @

BYU Joins the 'Texting' Craze with New Club Texting Powered Program

BYUSA will take advantage of the texting fad by sending out mass text messages to students informing them of upcoming campus events.

Students can receive text messages about BYUSA events by texting BYUSA to 25827.

"The texting service that we provide is a way for students to find out about campus events," said Devon Glassman, BYUSA vice president. " I know I am really attached to my phone, I get texts all the time and I always look at a text message. I don't always look at a poster that I walk by."

Students who sign up for this service will receive a maximum of six text messages a month.

"The main goal is to advertise better to students and to get in touch with students the way it's easiest to get in touch with them and help students stay connected to campus," Glassman said.

The first text message students will receive will be a reminder about fall preference.

"Text messaging has become a very mainstream form of communication." Glassman said. "It's really popular and really convenient and cheap."

Students who subscribe to this service will have no additional charge to their normal text messaging charges, according to their plan.

Dan Mortensen, a freshman from Orem majoring in manufacturing engineering technology, said he would use the service because he rarely knows what is happening on campus and always checks his text messages

"I really feel in the dark sometimes about what is going on despite all the banners and ads they have up," Mortensen said.

Read the entire press release @ BYU's website.


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