With the rise of technologies such as mobile phones, instant messaging, chatbots, and emails, it’s easy to overlook that SMS is still a popular and powerful form of worldwide communication.
And just how many people are texting? Many consumers are willing to accept business text messages? So what numbers can you trust?
To answer these concerns, we have gathered the most up-to-date data on text messaging and included many valuable takeaways that we spotted for businesses.
We have also made sure to connect to the primary sources of the texting stats and have chosen the latest available surveys and studies so take the time to read if you want more info. But with this rundown, the most up–to–date trustworthy text messaging statistics can be easily viewed in one location.
Common Statistics on Texting
- In 2018, 5 billion people worldwide are able to send and receive messages via SMS. It marks a substantial rise from 2003 when there were merely 1 billion mobile subscribers.  [English version]
- In 2015 1.5 billion smartphones were shipped enabled to send SMS messages.  [English version]
- Over the past decade, the number of monthly texts sent has risen by over 7,700%.
- 89% of people already have smartphones .
- In fact, 97% of Americans send at least one text message daily.
- Texting is the # 1 contact tool most used by Americans younger than 50. Use of American Communication Devices
- 82% of consumers keep [native, iMessage, and Android] SMS alerts turned on.
Takeaway: Texting is a medium that is still widely used around the world, more than 25 years after its inception. The number of text messages sent and the amount of time spent texting reflect its popularity.
Texting vs Calling
- Americans with smartphones send and receive five times as many text messages as they make and receive calls.
- Americans spend an average of 26 minutes texting daily, compared to 21 minutes of calling per day.
- Consumers in South Korea, India, Singapore, and the US prefer customer service SMS to voice calls.
- 3 Of the 10 customers will leave telephone calls to use messaging.
- They talk on their phone More than 68% of consumers claim they text more than they talk on their smartphones.
Text vs Email
- 82% of text messages are read within five minutes but consumers only access one in four emails they receive.
- 55% of consumers prefer to receive SMS for appointment reminders compared to 35% of consumers who prefer to receive emails for such notifications.
- 51% of consumers prefer to receive SMS for prescription refills versus 36% of consumers who prefer to receive emails for these updates.  Download: 
- 53% of consumers prefer SMS messages for service error alerts vs 34% of consumers who prefer email messages.
- Smartphone users spend 22% of their time on their phone texting and just 10% of their time using email.  Download: 
Takeaway: Instead of getting emails or calls, customers choose to open text messages.
Especially, when it comes to receiving time-sensitive updates, customers prefer texting to emailing.
Texting Population Figures
- 68% of Americans aged 18 to 29 said they had sent or received “a lot” of text messages the day before. 
- 47% of Americans aged 30 to 49 said they had sent or received “a lot” of text messages the day before .
- By comparison to 68% of male consumers, and 83% of female consumers prefer to receive text messages with coupons or other special offers. 
- 77% of customers who are registered for text between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to view a business that provides textual capabilities positively. 
- More than 83% of millennial consumers have reported that they text more than they talk on their smartphones 
Takeaway: Millennials text extensively relative to Gen X. And millennials are also more open to texting with businesses, which is no surprise given the immediacy of text messaging.
Texting Statistics by Country
- 86% of US consumers opt-in for SMS alerts (native, iMessage, and Android).
- 82% of European customers opt-in for SMS notifications.
- 77% of Asian consumers opt-in for SMS notifications.
- The average open rate for text messages is 82% .
- In the period Q1 2015–Q2 2016, 33% of British respondents received a text from a healthcare provider compared to 15% of global respondents.
- During the time Q1 2015–Q2 2016 more than half of the German consumers did not receive a text message from a business.
- 58% of French mobile users, 40% of British mobile users and 35% of US mobile users trust text messages they receive from businesses. Such estimates are higher than the 35% global average
Business Texting Statistics
- 47% of consumers prefer native SMS to mess businesses, compared with 34% of consumers who prefer native SMS to family and friends.
- 78% of customers in the United States say receiving a text message is the best way to reach them for service alerts and purchases.
- 80% of U.S. customers said that the most critical aspect of service-based messaging to positively impact satisfaction is the delivery of basic information.
- 76% of consumers in the United States said that velocity is the most significant aspect of service-based messaging to have a positive effect on satisfaction.
- 58% of customers suggested that, if they provided SMS capabilities, they would perceive a company more positively.
- 91% of consumers who have opted to receive brand texts see such messages as “important” or “really useful”.
- 50% of customers say they have opted to receive personal text updates from a brand.
- 48% of customers said they had opted for text messages from a company to be in the loop.
- 31% of customers claim they have opted for text messages from a company so that they do not need to visit a physical location or website or app for the same information.
- 52% of customers said they did not opt into text messages from a company because they found them disruptive.
- 23% of customers have received texts from companies from which they have ordered something .
SMS Marketing Statistics
- 83% of advertisers supporting SMS email subscriptions said it was ‘very effective/effective'.
- 42. 96 percent of mobile marketers rated SMS as “very effective” or “slightly effective”.
- 77% of customers reported that they had opted for text messages from a company to receive coupons or deals .
- 3 3% of customers say they have opted for text messages from a company in order to gain access to more relevant content. 
- 41% of customers said they did not opt-in for text messages from a company because the texts did not contain relevant content .
Takeaway: Consumers are likely to accept marketing texts that offer instant value (such as coupons) or substantive or valuable content.
Texting Statistics by Industry
- 69% of US customers enjoy receiving healthcare providers’ messages or emails. The respondents noted that texts are particularly useful for appointment reminders and guidance for future tests .
- 33% of people in Q1 2015–Q1 2016 got or sent a text message from/to the bank .
- 17% of people in Q1 2015–Q1 2016 got or sent a text message from/to an educational institution.
- During Q1 2015–Q1 2016, 15% of people received or sent a text message from/to an employer .
- 67% of U.S. smartphone owners said they wished to accept service-based texts from banks / financial institutions.
- 64% of US smartphone owners said they wanted to accept service-based notifications from retailers .
- 55% of US customers said they wanted to accept service-based notifications from travel companies and restaurant/delivery companies .
Takeaway: The sending of service-related text messages will definitely help banks, financial institutions, healthcare providers, retail stores, travel companies, and restaurants.
Whether you’ve already incorporated text messaging into your marketing plan, customer support, and communications, or are planning to add these features in 2018, stay tuned to the changing preferences and demands of customers for SMS communication.
Texting & Social Media Compared
- All digital growth now comes from mobile, which accounts for 65% of the online time .
- More than 70% of ShareThis network’s social referrals came from mobile phones in 2017, while another 10% came from tablets[ 19].
- Twitter is used by 22% of U.S. adults, but only a small subset of users control the conversation: 10% of users produce 80% of tweets. 
- A tweet’s half-life is about 24 minutes long and gets 75% of its engagement in less than three hours .
- Twitter’s median engagement rate is just .5%, suggesting that the overwhelming majority of tweets have zero engagement 
- Within 3 minutes, 90% of text messages are read .
- 50% of U.S. customers who received branded SMS proceed to make a purchase. 
- 60% of consumers claim they will redeem a mobile coupon they got in a week via text message .
- Text messaging is a primary medium for Application to Person (A2P) messaging that provides promotional notices, appointment reminders, updates to customer support, and updates to delivery. 1.67 Trillion A2P SMS messages were sent in 2017; , accounting for 75% of total market revenue.
- Two-factor authentication messages (2FA), such as those from financial institutions for authorizing transactions, accounted for 20% of traffic, or nearly 300 billion messages in 2017 – a use case for text messaging that social media can’t provide. 
- GSMA Intelligence
- GSMA Intelligence, June 2017
- Twilio Messaging Consumer Report, 2016
- Text Messaging Statistics – United States – Statistic Brain
- The Wireless Industry Data by CTIA
- U.S. Smartphone Use Report by Pew Research Center, October 2014
- Survey by Gallup, September 2014
- International Smartphone Mobility Report by Infomate , January 2015
- GFK MRI Study according to the GFK Blog, September – November 2015
- Flowroute Nationwide Survey, 2016
- The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message by OneReach, August 2014
- Shift Communications Consumer Survey, September 2015
- MEF Mobile Messaging Report, 2016
- State of Marketing Survey by Salesforce, 2015
- Transactional Messaging Consumer Report by Vibes, 2016
- Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report, 2014
- Kentico Global Survey, June – July 2015
- 5 surefire ways to win the race for mobile readers, February 2019
- Meet our new share buttons: Mobile optimized, beautiful, and lightning fast, February 2018
- Key takeaways from our new study of how Americans use Twitter, April 2019
- Your tweet half-life is 1 billion times shorter than Carbon-14’s, March 2014
- Mention’s Twitter Report 2018, 2018
- Why businesses can’t ignore SMS (Hint: 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes), March 2015
- Marketing With 98 Percent Read-Rate and 10 More Compelling Stats, July 2015
- CodeBroker Mobile Coupon Survey, 2018
- Operators Target $26 Billion Business Messaging Market, February 2018