As we celebrate the 20th birthday of the text message, the future of the communication service remains a hot topic for debate. What will be the state of the SMS application 20 years from now? How will we use our devices to communicate by then? Will social media rule, or will we come full circle and initiate vocal conversations again with innovative new technology?
Time will ultimately tell, but for the foreseeable future we don't see the text message dipping in popularity. Yesterday, this blog refuted a point made against the future of SMS services, but that doesn't mean the tech pundits are all projecting the decline of texting. In fact, a number of publications such as PC World suggest the text message is alive and well.
Jared Newman, the author of a recent article, lists the tired talking points consistently made by SMS detractors – the proliferation of social media and the increased functionality of smartphones – but indicates neither are strong enough factors to affect the future of the text message.
"But does all of this spell certain doom for the SMS? Not really," Newman writes. "For one thing, technologies rarely die despite the proclamations of pundits. They simply become less relevant over time. If you've ever sent or received an e-mail, Facebook message or Twitter mention where in the past a text message alone would have sufficed, you're already experiencing the shift away from SMS. Still, chances are you continue to rely on text messages on a regular basis."
Essentially, Newman's assessment is that even the more active users of social media and email will still rely on text messaging for simple communication. This is why the service's longevity appears imminent. Facebook and email marketing might reach a decent number of recipients, but most of those individuals will still turn toward their SMS application multiple times a day, so text message marketing will consistently be a more effective method.