US Texting Continues To Grow
By Carlo Longino, Fri May 21 15:45:00 GMT 2004

Research from a mobile marketing company says a third of US mobile users now send text messages on a regular basis.

Enpocket, which sells mobile marketing products, says 35 percent of the US mobile users it surveyed are regular texters, which backs up earlier data on the rising popularity of SMS in the country.

The survey compares US text use to that of the UK, and while twice that percentage of UK users SMS regularly, there are some other interesting metrics from the survey. We've been talking a lot recently about the lack of European interest in MMS, and Enpocket says just 15 percent of UK mobile users regularly send MMS, but 8 percent of US users send picture messages -- surprising considering the relatively advanced state of the UK market and the much longer time such services have been available there.

Since Enpocket is interested in mobile marketing, they break out some other stats as well -- 1 percent of US users (vs. 2 percent in the UK) have sent an SMS to a radio station, 2 percent (8 percent in the UK) have texted a TV show and 2 percent (3 percent UK) have sent an SMS in response to product packaging. US uptake of game and ringtone downloads and WAP usage still trail UK usage, but not by much.

Clearly American users are, in large numbers, looking at their handsets as more than just voice devices. Interacting with media, like the popular American Idol show's text-in voting, is growing in popularity and will certainly drive more interest, particularly as common short codes, a relatively new advancement in the US, become more prevalent.