Get the Message? Three Reasons Why Texting Is the New Social
Way back in 1997, Nokia became the first manufacturer to include a full-sized keyboard on their mobile phones. After that clever addition, it was all over. In 2000, a person would send about 35 text messages per month and as of 2013, that average was about 2,022. That’s an increase of over 700 percent, by the way, and the number has surely only grown in four years’ time. Social media has added some new outlets for communicating, but there’s no doubt that texting is here to stay. We’d even argue that it’s more social than social, here’s why:
Texting is more personal
We think MySpace was onto something with their “top 8 friends” list. Sure, for a while we added as many friends as possible to our networks. But in the end, you still had your crew. You know, those people you would message directly and talk about that strange status update your ninth best friend posted.
It seems traditional social platforms like Facebook and Twitter have morphed into full-fledged media outlets—a place you’d go to watch videos and catch up on the latest news. Twitter is now listed as a news app in the Apple App Store. Simply, it’s no longer a place to connect with those closest to you.
In our search for something more personal, we’ve turned to messaging apps and texting. In fact, messaging apps have surpassed social media networks in the amount of monthly active users. As data plans have loosened up, so have the constraints that pushed us to social media for connecting with friends.
You can say more with less
Group texting allows us to communicate in a more relaxed and informal way. We live in the age of micro moments and snap decisions, and we simply don’t have time to explain our plans for the day. This is where stickers come in. We can quickly and easily share everything from where we’re grabbing lunch to the hike we just went on. They’re personal, highly visual and fun to use.
The options are endless
The appeal of texting and messaging apps isn’t just among friends. Brands are starting to get the message and offer services that help them connect with their customers in a more meaningful way. From purchasing movie tickets and donating to a special cause to playing games and offering coupons, brands have realized the opportunity to meet customers where they are, without switching apps or jumping to websites.
According to The Wall Street Journal, messaging apps are used about nine times per day by a user, compared to almost two times per day for all apps. The opportunities to create brand awareness, promote campaigns and promotions and develop loyal fans cannot be ignored.
The walls around texting have officially fallen. Texting is more personal, we can be creative with stickers, gifs and emoji and even connect to the brands we care about the most. It seems they really are more social than social media after all.
At Smallball, we’re a little partial to the sharing stickers aspect of messaging apps. We’d love to talk to you about how they can help your brand develop meaningful connections with your customers. Reach out to us today!