Instant messaging making SMSes extinct
London: A survey has shown that mobile text messaging could soon become extinct in UK, as the younger generation are turning more and more to other forms of electronic communication.
Experts have predicted that the amount of texts sent in the UK will drop by 20 percent in the next two years, as teenagers are increasingly using instant messaging from mobile phones and social networking sites such as Facebook.
Even now, a good number of teenagers and students are using BlackBerrys instead of iPhones and other smartphones because the device has a free BBM messenger.
Sales in the phone, that was once the preserve of the corporate boardroom, have increased six-fold during the past year, mainly due to being taken up by 16 to 24-year-olds.
A study for broadband provider TalkTalk found only 51 percent of Britons in their teens or early 20s say email is their first choice of communication.
Industry experts believe that if this trend is followed into adulthood then text messaging could disappear within a generation.
Instant messaging is extremely similar to texting, but faster and cheaper. It is free on BlackBerry phones even for "pay and go" customers and is used by 39 million people across the world.
Communication consultants Mobile Youth said the main drop in texts is down to the rise in instant messaging.
"We`ve seen SMS usage fall among young people and the main driver is BlackBerry," the Daily Mail quoted Graham Brown, the firm`s managing director, as saying.
"Teens and students were picking up BlackBerrys as hand-me-downs because parents were upgrading and started playing and exploring," he said.
A recent report found that instant messaging will also overtake emails and make that form of contact extinct too.
It comes as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg declared that "email is dead" as he launched the new instant messaging service on the social networking site last November.
The report found the electronic form of contact is already becoming "grey mail" with the most devoted users being pensioners, followed by middle-aged Britons.
Experts believe people prefer the "one and done" style of message, which is where a short message like those on Twitter, can be sent to all contacts at the same time.
Other email alternatives, such as instant messaging, texting and social networks like Facebook, are quick and easy and can be done anywhere with modern technology.