Instant messages (IM) sent on platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat will overtake email to become the most popular digital communication channel in 2015, according to data from Juniper Research.
The firm said that 43 trillion instant messages will be sent on IM services in 2015, surpassing email for the first time. Email was the top communications channel in 2014, with 35 trillion messages sent.
However, spam remains a major problem for email. Juniper said that a staggering 80 percent of all email sent is classed as spam.
This is perhaps one reason why IM services are becoming more popular in the consumer world with the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and in the enterprise market with business-focused services such as Slack and Cisco’s Project Squared.
Overall, the continuing growth in IM will result in a staggering 160 trillion messages being sent over digital communication channels by 2019, according to Juniper.
This will be a huge rise on the 94.2 trillion messages sent in 2015, and equates to 438 billion messages being sent every day in 2019.
The figure incorporates all kinds of digital messages, such as text messages, instant messages, social media posts and emails.
The research from Juniper also noted that, while other forms of message are becoming popular, the humble SMS remains a key way for businesses to reach customers and get good engagement.
The report cited information provided by UK mobile operator EE showing that 99 percent of text messages are read, and 90 percent are read within three minutes of being sent, making it a key way to impart information.
Given these high metrics, Juniper expects most businesses to continue to rely on SMS to send customers information, using the term 'enterprise messaging', as it remains the most successful channel to reach people.
"Enterprise messaging is a segment which Juniper strongly believes will continue to see growth and development at least in the short term, as it allows almost guaranteed and secure delivery of messages to consumers," the firm said.
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