MMS remains a popular communication platform with over half of USA and UK mobile subscribers using the technology in conjunction with OTT apps
December 19th 2013. Research from the global mobile messaging leader, Acision, confirms the ongoing popularity of MMS as a habitual messaging and content sharing service in both the UK and the USA. The annual findings, now in their second year, show 51 per cent of British and 58 per cent of North American smartphone users currently use the platform. This makes it the second most-popular messaging tool after SMS in the USA and third behind SMS and Facebook Messenger in the UK. MMS is more popular with transatlantic women, with 54 per cent of UK and 61 per cent of US women using the platform compared to 47 per cent and 55 per cent of men respectively.
The annual report, conducted by Vanson Bourne, is considered the most comprehensive study into global messaging trends.
Surveying 1,000 smartphone users in both countries, the research found that MMS is used at least once a week by around six in seven US subscribers (87 per cent) and two thirds of UK subscribers (66 per cent).
Daily use of MMS is stronger in the USA, with 38 per cent of MMS users sending at least one ‘picture text’ each day compared to 22 per cent in the UK.
According to JF Sullivan, executive vp of product development and CMO with Acision, “MMS is considered a medium that people trust to communicate with their nearest and dearest, with the overwhelming majority of MMS users (84 per cent in the USA and 79 per cent in the UK) using the technology to share ‘special and funny moments’ with friends and family.”
“Our findings also suggest that MMS is viewed as a more intimate platform than other messaging applications.”
The research highlighted that respondents in the UK only communicate with an average of eight people via the platform while in the USA this rises to 12.
Both are lower than SMS, which is used to communicate with an average of 13 and 15 people in the UK and USA respectively.
Festive periods and special occasions often cause a spike in MMS activity, with 47 per cent of Brits and 53 per cent of Americans sending MMS for Valentine’s Day, New Year or at Xmas, for example.
With growing numbers of mobile users looking to share visual content instantly, to show what they are experiencing, Acision predicts there will be a spike in MMS traffic over the festive period.
Acision saw such spikes in MMS traffic, of up to 424 per cent, over the winter holiday period last year – specifically on 24th December (Xmas Eve), 25th December (Xmas Day) and 31st December (New Year’s Eve).
Comparing data from different countries across Europe, North America (NA), LATAM and APAC, Acision found a significant increase in the usage of MMS across the globe, particularly the sharing of video content.
With video and ‘selfies’ becoming even more popular in 2013, it is expected that last years’ figures will be trumped in just a few weeks time.
Sullivan concluded, “Our findings show that MMS is still very much part of people’s everyday mobile experience.”
“While the arrival of social media and OTT messaging is increasing, they are still not able to generate the same revenues as MMS which, as part of the traditional messaging family, is still the biggest non-voice source of revenue.”
“We expect to see a repeat of last year’s spike in MMS traffic over the Xmas period, as users choose to share intimate moments with their loved ones.”
“Operators must continue to harness this opportunity and invest in new ways to ensure MMS is an affordable and efficient messaging platform for all mobile subscribers”.
Key MMS research findings include: -
• 51 per cent of UK and 58 per cent of American mobile users currently use MMS services
• The platform is more popular with females in both countries. In the USA, 61 per cent of women use the service compared to 55 per cent of men. In the UK this figure sits at 54 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.
• 66 per cent of UK and 87 per cent of US MMS users use the technology once week or more. This represents daily usage of 22 per cent in the UK and 38 per cent in the USA.
• The most popular reason to use MMS is to share ‘funny or special moments’ – with 84 per cent of US and 79 per cent of UK MMS users using the technology to do this
• 44 per cent of respondents in the UK avoid sending MMS due to the high price compared to 19 per cent of US users
• 40 per cent of Americans and 32 per cent of Brits will use MMS when on holiday or abroad
• Special occasions cause an MMS surge with 47 per cent of Brits and 53 per cent of American users sending an MMS on occasions such as Xmas, New Year or Valentine’s Day
As a global leader in mobile messaging, Acision connects the world by powering relevant, seamless messaging services, which enrich the mobile communications experience and create new opportunities for carriers and enterprises across the world.