Facts and Figures: Mobile Text Messaging Usage in the U.S. (An Opportunity for Libraries)

We <3 Mobile

We hear a lot of feedback regarding text messaging from both ends of the spectrum. Some understand and are part of the mobile messaging explosion in the U.S. and others need a little more convincing.

While we don’t send 470 text messages per day (we have plenty of work to do around here), we love text messaging, understand that it might be better to provide some industry facts regarding text messaging usage and show why we’re seeing more and more libraries embrace the mobile channel as an effective addition to reference services. We’ve compiled a quick list for you with links to the reports where possible, will add more as we find them and if you have any, please let us know or post them in the comments section.

  • On average, Americans send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • U.S. Teens (ages 13-17) sent and received an average of 1,742 text messages per month in Q2 2008 (Nielsen Mobile)
  • In 2008, teens and twenty-somethings were by far the largest users of texting, coming in at 85%. In 2009, this continued to be true with teens at 94% and 20-somethings at 87%, but usage also increased for older age groups. Among those in their 40s, usage jumped from 56% to 64%, and for those in their 50s it jumped from 38% to 46%. (The Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report, May 20, 2009)
  • A new online survey of mobile users (sample size not disclosed) conducted in January, 2008 by Amplitude Research has found the following features and considerations to be most important among cell phone buyers:
    * Text messaging: 73%
    * Camera: 67%
    * Ability to access the mobile Internet: 61%
    * Music features: 34%
    * Video: 33%
  • Medical and Policy Experts Agree Wireless Technology Makes Healthcare More Efficient, Effective, and Patient-focused (CTIA Wireless Association)


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