Texting remains the most valuable function of smartphones for younger users, a new survey published today reveals.

Despite an ever-increasing number of functions and apps available on smartphones including email, social media, camera and games, 18-24 year olds still value texting above everything else.

The finding comes from survey of more than 2,000 adults carried out by YouGov on behalf of Firstsource Solutions, a leading business process management company.

More than a quarter of young adults (26 per cent) said texting was the most valuable feature of their smartphone, compared to 16 per cent who said it was being able to make and receive calls.

However, the likes of free instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp are becoming more popular for sending messages.

A previous survey in 2011 found that 18-24 year olds were more than three times as likely to value texting as a function on their smartphone than making and receiving calls (40 per cent compared to 12 per cent).

Today’s survey, however, shows that instant messaging apps seem to have taken part of this messaging share – 14 per cent of 18-24 year olds said access to instant messaging apps such as WhatsApp was the most useful function of their smartphone.

The survey shows:

·        Only 14 per cent of 18-24 years olds said access to social media on the move was the most useful function of their smartphone.

·        Only 9 per cent of 18-24 year olds said access to apps such as gaming and shopping was their smartphone’s most useful feature.

·        Texting is still overwhelmingly seen as the most useful function of a smartphone after making calls for all age groups.  Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of people regard it as the smartphone’s most useful function.

·        Less than a quarter (24 per cent) of women find making calls the most useful function of their smartphone – texting is far more popular at 30 per cent.

·        Conversely, older users were more likely to value voice calls, with more than forty per cent of over 55 year olds saying that making calls was the smartphone’s most valuable function.

·        Londoners are far more likely than people from other regions to think that messenger services such as WhatsApp are the most valuable function of their smartphones.

Mike Sloman, Vice-President of Business Development, Firstsource Solutions, said: “This new survey shows that despite smartphones boasting an ever increasing array of specialist apps, messaging remains the most important function for all age groups, especially young users.

“Three years ago, our survey seemed to suggest that texting was thriving on smartphones and predictions of its decline due to new technologies such as instant messenger and social media were premature.  Today’s survey shows that although texting is still the number one useful feature, free instant messaging apps are taking an increasing share of this type of communication.

“This data shows that companies should consider texting and instant messaging as an important customer service channel, helping to increasing engagement with customers. For example, they can deliver better customer experience by providing customer service related updates through SMS and via instant messaging apps.”


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