London: The amount of messages being sent using instant chat apps, such as Whatsapp and BlackBerry Messenger, has overtaken the traditional SMS messages for the first time ever, according to a research firm.
Informa said almost 19 billion messages were sent per day on chat apps compared with 17.6 billion SMS texts in 2012.
The shift is likely to have a big impact on mobile operators, for whom texts have been a key revenue source.
Pamela Clark-Dickson of Informa said some operators were already `seeing a decline in their messaging revenues`.
According to separate estimates by research firm Ovum, more than 23 billion dollars of SMS revenue was lost in 2012 due to popularity of chat apps.
Informa said that it expected the messaging on chat apps to grow even further in the coming years.
It has projected that nearly 50 billion messages will be sent per day using these apps by 2014, compared with just over 21 billion traditional SMSs.
However, it said that despite the growing gap between the two, SMS will continue to remain a key player in the sector, the report added.