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Facebook Is Killing Text Messaging 270

Posted by timothy
from the funeral-will-be-awesome dept.
An anonymous reader writes "We've heard many times and from multiple sources that text messaging is declining. There are multiple reasons for this (BlackBerry Messenger, Apple's iMessage, and even WhatsApp), but the biggest one is Facebook (Messenger). Facebook is slowly but surely killing the text message. As a result, the social networking giant is eating into the traffic carriers receive from text messaging, and thus a huge chunk of their revenues."
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Facebook Is Killing Text Messaging

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  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dontbgay (682790) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:15AM (#39985359)
    Maybe carriers would reduce their crazy pricing models for SMS messages!
    • Re:Good (Score:4, Insightful)

      by olsmeister (1488789) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:23AM (#39985411)
      Well, it's hard to compete with free. But (if I were in the carriers' position) I would stress the privacy/advertising/data mining issues, and try to appeal to people who have no facebook account an no interest in getting one. And lower the prices ... I think the gravy train for them is nearing the end for SMS messages. So at least facebook is a positive in that regard. Anyway, wouldn't Twitter be more along the lines of direct competition?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aliquis (678370)

        Yeah. Because no-one listen to your SMS messages ...

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jellomizer (103300) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:48AM (#39985567)
        But that's ok you are being mined other ways. Well you can compete with free, if you couldn't then how did Apple rise from near bankruptcy. When you had Linux growing, during that same time. I would argue we never really had privacy. Back in the pre-internet age if you were to go to the store and buy embarrassing products, the clerk could have been the town gossip, and by the end of the week you are an outcast because of some odd purchase. While now we are collecting more information, the advertisers are smart enough not to abuse the information, because if you make Jane embarrassed because she bought a product or has an issue which a product can help, you risk loosing a customer.
        • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

          by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:50AM (#39985945)

          You mean like when Target told a dad his daughter was pregnant [citypages.com]?

          Also, you loose nothing. If something is loose you should tighten it as not to lose it. Although I guess in this case you sort of did lose a loose customer.

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

            by wealthychef (584778) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @12:41PM (#39986633)
            Actually, the article you quote makes jellomizer's point.

            But Target didn't stop the creepy target marketing -- it just got sneakier about it.

            "With the pregnancy products, though, we learned that some women react badly," the executive said. "Then we started mixing in all these ads for things we knew pregnant women would never buy, so the baby ads looked random. We'd put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers. We'd put a coupon for wineglasses next to infant clothes. That way, it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.

            "And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn't been spied on, she'll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don't spook her, it works."

            The author of the article says it's creepy, but actually I think it's clever and discreet.

      • Well, it's hard to compete with free.

        Of course you can. You can jack up the minimum price for a smartphone data plan so that it's more expensive than unlimited texting, forcing cost-conscious customers onto dumbphones.

      • by allo (1728082)

        no, its not. sms are nearly free for carriers, as they consume very little ressources in the network. They just make very much profit of them. So they could offer them for free and make profit only with calls / with contract fees.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

          by dgatwood (11270) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @06:58PM (#39989661) Journal

          I keep hearing people say that SMS messages are effectively free for the carriers, but such statements don't present the whole picture, and as a result, are highly misleading.

          Yes, text messages are sent using junk parts of packets that aren't used for anything else. However, there are a limited number of time slots per frequency, and a limited number of frequency slots. Therefore, it is a scarce resource. If text messages were free or nearly so, there is the danger that your text messages would be delayed by hours because of the backlog, making them early useless.

          When a backlog does occur, there are only three ways to fix it: add more bandwidth (which costs money), change phones so that they can deliver text messages using data traffic (which effectively takes bandwidth from other things, eventually resulting in the need to add bandwidth, which costs money), or charge a fee so that fewer people send text messages, thus avoiding the tragedy of the commons.

          So it is no more "nearly free" than biodiesel made from restaurant grease is nearly free; initially it may seem that way, but as soon as demand builds up, suddenly there's not enough to go around, and the cost of increasing the supply makes it largely infeasible to do so.

          • by torkus (1133985)

            You have a valid point - to a limited degree.

            I use SMS heavily at times. Multiple conversations, outage reports, server health monitoring, etc. and I can use several hundered a day easily. Even if each ~160 character message takes 50 times more bandwidth as data traffic than it's actual size and I'm looking at a few MB for the day. Yet if I paid individually they'd charge me ~$50 or more.

            So yes, it's possible carriers have had to expand or change how they handle SMS to manage the increased number sent, b

    • A thought occurs: If the prices of sms were extremely cheap (about $ 0.001), would the increased sms usage eat into voice usage to the point where some of the US capacity issues disappeared?

      • by Sancho (17056) *

        In the US, don't most People who text usually get an unlimited plan?

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          Yes, but I think a lot of people are still stuck on legacy family plans from 2004 or so, so they're paying per message still. Unlimited text messaging has been $5/mo for about 6 years now, and in the last 4 years most single user/phone plans that have data also have unlimited SMS. To buy a new phone on a new plan these days, you'd almost have to go out of your way to pay-per-SMS unless you're a cheap bastard trying to avoid paying carrier's SMS tax.

          My roommate (who can well afford it) is trying to a

          • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

            by gstrickler (920733) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:10AM (#39986047)

            $5/mo for unlimited texting? Not from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile. It's a $20/mo add-on from VZ, AT&T and Sprint, or a $10/mo higher plan from T-Mobile.

          • by Sporkinum (655143)

            Your roomate sounds smart. Since they charge you for inbound texts, that makes sense. Paygo is way better than contract if you use your phone as a phone and dont have diarrhea of the mouth. The paygo I am on is 5/minute, 2/text, 10/mb. Your $5 example would be 250 texts.

          • Tell him to sign up for Google Voice. It'll convert SMS to email and its free. He can also send SMS for free, too, then.

        • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

          by EggyToast (858951) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:05AM (#39985661) Homepage
          I believe that is the point -- people are choosing to use other forms of messaging and finding that they're as good, if not better, among their contacts compared to SMS. As such, they are saving themselves the unlimited texting fees.

          An unlimited texting plan on AT&T is $20/mo, and on Verizon, the $5/mo tier only gets you 250 messages. The $10/mo plan gets you mostly unlimited texting. So, people are deciding "hey, everyone I text is on FB, and I can ping them on their phone the same way. Plus I can ping people who don't even have phones and are sitting at home."

          So, it's more flexible, and it's cheaper. People then drop their unlimited data plans (which are add-ons and not part of the contract structure), which eats into the planned revenue for the carriers. What's worse, the carriers have no plan to recoup this fee once it's gone. They'll need to make up the shortfall by increasing data plan costs.
          • An unlimited texting plan on AT&T is $20/mo, and on Verizon, the $5/mo tier only gets you 250 messages. The $10/mo plan gets you mostly unlimited texting. So, people are deciding "hey, everyone I text is on FB, and I can ping them on their phone the same way. Plus I can ping people who don't even have phones and are sitting at home."

            Depends on the carrier, I suppose. There are some US carriers (think Boost, for example) who offer unlimited texting included in the base package.

            In the rest of the world, it's almost a given that your texting will be that low. I pay $5/mo for unlimited international texting on my plan. And I have European friends who think that I'm being gouged at that rate.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Quite right.

      Facebook isn't killing text messaging, it's just giving carriers an excuse to.

      See also who kills people, guns or other people.

      Answer: people, the gun is just something they use to shoot with and without a gun they'd just use a knife instead.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      its an excuse to raise prices. Its scam. I don't see a decrease with all the people i know, and its increasing if anything.

    • by oztiks (921504)

      Carriers are a dying business model. It's no coincidence that Skype on iPhone was clipped to ensure it didn't operate on 3G. It's merely a matter of time before the carrier model either changes or gets pushed out and with microsofts acquisition of Skype I'd imagine within a few years all that carriers would charge for is data usage. All hail 4g!!!

  • Nope (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blahbooboo (839709) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:16AM (#39985365)

    Not for me. Facebook sucks for messaging compared to iMessage or plain old texts.

    At best, facebook is an email supplement

    • Re:Nope (Score:5, Insightful)

      by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:19AM (#39985381)

      At best, facebook is an email supplement

      How can Facebook messaging even be compared with email? Can you exchange messages with people who do not use one company's services? Can you run your own Facebook message server?

    • Re:Nope (Score:4, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:46AM (#39985545) Journal

      Exactly. This article is attributing to facebook what is a result of a: general market shift away from ridiculously overpriced messaging, and b: a result of simply better services that are out there, such as anything that does text messages over data, including google voice and that apple messenger thing.

      Facebook's total influence on text messaging is probably neutral entirely, due to enabling people to get notifications via text messaging.

  • I seem to recall something along the lines of Facebook buying out certain companies for the explicit purpose of killing SMS text messaging.

  • What a choice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:18AM (#39985375)
    On the one hand, a cartel that charges ridiculous prices for messaging. On the other, a service which will not allow you to send messages to users of other services.
    • Re:What a choice... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bemymonkey (1244086) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:35AM (#39985495)

      Facebook IM is just the gateway drug... As soon as people realize that text messaging should essentially be free, they're just seconds away from installing another IM client on their phone. Most people won't, because they don't need to communicate with anyone outside their Facebook friend list... But the idea should be planted :-)

    • by tirefire (724526)
      It's a lot like Aliens vs. Predator (2004): Whoever wins... we lose.
  • Rediculous markup (Score:5, Interesting)

    by neokushan (932374) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:18AM (#39985379)

    SMS has a ridiculous markup, in the thousands of percent - sorry, telcos, but the gig is up. You've had your free lunch and it's over, how about instead you give us better data options so you can at least make some money out of all these free services?
    Face it - SMS and phone calls are a dying business, data is the future so invest in your infrastructure, encourage its use and profit from the fact that nobody's likely to offer free universal data any time soon.

    • by contrapunctus (907549) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:37AM (#39985503)

      actually it's infinity percent markup since SMS costs telcos nothing at all...

    • Re:Rediculous markup (Score:4, Interesting)

      by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:45AM (#39985535)
      Couldn't agree more, the cash cow of SMS messaging is dying. Now if we can just convince the majority of ISPs that excess data downloads shouldn't be its replacement, that'll be fantastic. My boss just received a $8000 excess data usage bill for his home account... *shakes head*
      • by irtza (893217)

        While SMS pricing structure may be a cash cow, I really don't think its fair to say it costs them nothing. There may be no (or few) running costs associated with it; however, there are hefty baseline fees with maintaining the structure that is used. Just because they would maintain this anyway is not a reason to allow it to be free. That would be like saying fast food places should have to give away soda because they are makingf all this money on food and the soda doesn't cost them much anyways.

        SMS may n

        • by neokushan (932374)

          Despite my above post, I do actually agree with the opinion that sending and receiving a message does cost a sum of money greater than zero as you have to take into account the cost of building and maintaining the network. So what if it uses a part of the signal that otherwise goes unused, it still costs money to keep that signal broadcasting 24 hours a day, 365.25 days a year. To the guy above who feel's he's being ripped off for this, I wonder if he keeps his home connection running 24/7, or his telephone

    • by sunking2 (521698)
      It's called paying for a service. Does the waitress deserve 20% of the price of a meal because she jotted down an order and filled your cup with water? The service industry charges what the consumer will bare. Not what it actually costs. If you don't like what they are charging then don't go out to eat or use their service. They have no obligation to charge you based on their costs.
      • by neokushan (932374)

        Well done, you've managed to sum up the article even more succinctly than the summary by using an analogy. "If you don't like it, don't use it!" is exactly what's happening here, people are using other, free or cheaper services such as Facebook Messenger instead of SMS. Clap clap for you.

    • SMS has a ridiculous markup, in the thousands of percent - sorry, telcos, but the gig is up. You've had your free lunch and it's over, how about instead you give us better data options so you can at least make some money out of all these free services? Face it - SMS and phone calls are a dying business, data is the future so invest in your infrastructure, encourage its use and profit from the fact that nobody's likely to offer free universal data any time soon.

      A couple of thoughts:

      The cost of producing something only determines if it will produced, based on what people are willing to pay. Since people are willing to pay for SMS carries sell it; at a price that people are willing to pay.

      While the current delivery methods for SMS and phones may be dying; the need for them isn't. I also don't think the free model as in Skype can sustain itself if it became the predominate model; rather Skype wouldld push people to pay plans for non-Skype to Skype calls if only to

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:21AM (#39985399)

    They're getting paid. Facebook replaces messaging because people are using it through their smart phone. So they're paying for data plans.

    They should get worried if people stop buying data plans.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:32AM (#39985465)

      With the fact that the data plans are so small for phones (just doing a round of Windows updates and application updates on a laptop will put me over cap if I had a phone plan dating from 2010 or newer.), the carriers are making in the money even with people that have unlimited texting.

      Before I picked up an iPhone, I paid $75 a month. With the iPhone, I easily pay $200/month.

      Texting isn't where you will end up being robbed, it is the data plans and the paltry bandwidth quotas.

      • Isn't there a better plan for you to go onto? I get 2gb of data with my $49.95 plan, and the most I've ever used has been 900mb in a month...
      • My iPhone 4S has a monthly plan of 250 daytime minutes, unlimited evening/weekends, free calls to other local phones on the same carrier, visual voice mail, call display, 2000 outgoing text messages, and 6 GB data.

        It costs $65 a month, $10 less than your pre-iPhone bill. And this is in Canada, a country considered one of the worst when it comes to rip-off level cell phone plans.

        What country are you in, and what the heck do you have on your plan that it costs $200/month, and will put you over cap for a singl

    • A facebook message consisting of 160 characters would be less than 1kB (amortised). The usual cost of an SMS is between 10c and 25c. 10c per kB equates to $100 per MB.

      In other words, telco profit margins on SMS when compared to FB messages are orders of magnitude smaller. It might be even worse, I've heard that SMS messages are sent in some form of "control" packet hence the 160 char limit, meaning that SMS overheads are (somewhat) essential to running the mobile network.

      • X2 the price as you pay for both ways.

        • by yacc143 (975862)

          Not really, in most countries you do not pay for receiving calls or texts.

          • by Paco103 (758133) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:56AM (#39985603)

            In the US you do. It was accepted on phone calls when cell phones first came out, because the caller does not pay extra to place the call as they do in some countries (if I understand correctly). This was more acceptable since I have the option to not answer a call. With text messages, however, I don't have the option to not get one. In the US, I don't know of any company that doesn't charge for incoming texts, but some do charge less for incoming texts than outgoing.

            • by yahwotqa (817672)

              Wow, you're getting royally screwed (as if you didn't know already). My condolences.

            • by Nemyst (1383049)

              But we have to cover a greater area with fewer people than Europe and and and...

              Oh fuck it we just love money.

    • They're getting paid. Facebook replaces messaging because people are using it through their smart phone. So they're paying for data plans.

      No way it offsets. Even if you got ass-pounded with some $0.25/MB data charge, that SMS message is less than a kB. We're talking a tenth of a cent of data per SMS at worst, maybe less, for the worst data plan imaginable.

      On the other hand, the carriers typically upcharge $10-20 for text plans, or $0.05-0.10 per SMS. SMS plans were definitely their cash cow, and the d

  • Earnings from sms? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ries (765608)
    Even the most basic plan (12 dollar/mo, 3 GB data, unlimited sms) in Denmark includes unlimited text messaging.
  • What? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sureshot007 (1406703) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:24AM (#39985421)
    So, if you have a phone plan that includes unlimited text messages, but don't use them as much now, wouldn't that be ADDING to the teleco's revenue?

    Further more, how would a data driven app displace a cellular function??? Text messaging uses less power and resources on my phone. I can text all day long but if have to be connected to the internet to use facebook, I get far less life out of my battery. I don't get why people would prefer a data app over a native cell feature...but that's just me.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bondsbw (888959) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:48AM (#39985561)

      SMS messages are routed over control channels, which in most cases means that there is practically zero additional cost for the carrier.

      So, no, the failure to use text messages doesn't change carrier revenue. The failure to extract money makes a lot of difference for carrier revenue... which is what happens if you no longer get a texting plan, or if like me, never had one and stop sending the ~10 messages per month I have been doing.

    • by Paco103 (758133)

      Because it's free. I use Google Voice as my primary number now. Texting would cost me $10/month extra. With Google Voice, I can text all day long for "free" on my included data plan. I get by on the 200MB plan and rarely pass 150MB, even with Trillian for Android on MSN, AOL, Facebook, and Google Talk, Google Voice, and e-mail connected 24/7. Cell phone cost on texting is RIDICULOUS! I have a 900Minute family plan with about 3000 roll over minutes banked, unlimited mobile to mobile, and 200MB data. .

    • So, if you have a phone plan that includes unlimited text messages, but don't use them as much now, wouldn't that be ADDING to the teleco's revenue?

      No. Revenue is the same, whether you use the service or not. If customers are not using an unlimited service that is included in their plans, it reduces the provider's costs (very slightly), which might improve earnings, but would not increase (or decrease) revenue.

  • Cutting traffic? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:24AM (#39985425)

    Exactly how is facebook cutting traffic for the carriers? If I send a text message via FB versus the sms application in my phone, are not the same amount of bytes being transferred? Actually, the FB transfer probably uses more traffic.

    What is true, though, is that SMS is a private service that the carriers gouge the public on in pricing and they haven't found a way to exploit the user who uses FB for their texting. At least not yet.

    • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:49AM (#39986293) Homepage Journal

      Exactly how is facebook cutting traffic for the carriers? If I send a text message via FB versus the sms application in my phone, are not the same amount of bytes being transferred? Actually, the FB transfer probably uses more traffic.

      You got that right. SMS uses virtually no traffic for the carrier, it is well above 99% profit. Facebook isn't hurting their traffic - it is actually increasing their traffic. Rather, it is hurting their bottom line because they can't get away with marking up data rates to the degree they can mark up text rates. This "story" is basically just the carriers whining that their profit margins are decreasing because they got too comfortable with the obscene returns they were getting from text messages.

  • by Mirvnillith (578191) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:24AM (#39985427)
    In Sweden text messages tend to be free (but only the first 5000 each month) with plans at about $21 a month (this example with 3GB data as well). I know the US is different (recipient paying for text message and such), but there are operators surviving without this huge chunk of revenue ...
    • by lxs (131946)

      The first 5000?

      I can honestly say that I haven't sent 5000 text messages in my entire life.

      • When I was in high school (a decade ago), I had a friend who managed to send/receive 14000 text messages in a single month. I have no idea how that is possible, but his parents took away his phone privileges after that.
      • by I_am_Jack (1116205) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @09:50AM (#39985575)
        Then you weren't a teenage girl with a cell phone. My daughter averages 5200 a month .
        • by tirefire (724526)
          Wow, that's roughly one text message every 5-6 minutes, assuming 8 hours' sleep per day, along with a 31-day month.

          I'm in my early twenties and I feel like I'm getting old. I miss the '90s when people actually spoke to other people in the same room as them. It seems like everyone was more relaxed, or maybe that's just the economy these days, I don't know. But back in the day, if the conversation lulled, someone would change the subject instead of everyone folding their hands in iphone/android prayer u
        • by ZorinLynx (31751)

          What the heck do they talk about so much? 5200 messages a month sounds completely ridiculous!

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        Clearly you aren't a teenage girl. I worked with a girl in 2006 who had just graduated high school and was in community college, she would send something like 1200 texts a week. 20 friends x ~15 simultaneous conversations, with all the "lol"s and "wut r u doing?"s and "im bored"s each using their own message, plus response, general drama etc... adds up. I probably sent 1200 "text messages" a week over AIM when I was in high school. It's just that mobile phones didn't exist yet for my age group, nor did thei

    • Surviving, but with a smaller yacht for the CEO...
    • by Paco103 (758133)

      I'm guessing in Sweden, you also buy your own phones? In my opinion, the biggest problem with the US market is that phones are included with all your plans (at least from the 4 major carriers). I bought my last phone outright. It was the Google Dev Phone 1 (Unlocked TMobile G1). Did I get a discount for providing my own phone? Nope. Should I have, since I didn't have them pay for it for me? Absolutely.

      TMobile I believe finally offers a bring-your-own-phone discounted rate, but they also have weaker c

  • Facebook = (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FudRucker (866063)
    developed by a narcissist for narcissists
    • developed by a narcissist for advertisers, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies (in no particular order)

      FTFY

    • I use Facebook more than text messaging, but for only one reason. You can have conversations with more than one person at a time. If text messaging had group conversations, I'd probably never use Facebook for personal communication.
  • Let me remind about may 19 : http://www.opendiscussionday.org/# [opendiscussionday.org] Time to leave facebook, msn for a open protocol with decentralized network etc -- http://rzr.online.fr/q/xmpp [online.fr]
  • I don't text FB or tweet, but wouldn't the destroyer of SMS be the twitter smartphone app, not FB? Isn't twitter via app closer in concept to SMS than FB?

    Could be an argument for the FB borg adsorbing everything trivial and mundane, this specifically looking at messaging being adsorbed..

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Twitter is impossibly hard to follow on their website, especially long drawn out conversations, and its not terribly private, which is important in high school drama. SMS is just a poor replacement of instant messenger, but it's already preinstalled on all phones so the barrier to entry is low. FB messenger is also already preinstalled on most phones, as well as any computer with a web browser, and doesn't cost money. It's important to look at SMS as an instant messaging service, not a broadcast web service

  • The facebook app is terrible for general messaging.
    What is more likely killing texts are apps like whatsapp, kakaotalk, and others like that.
    They're generally seamless where facebook is far more intrusive.
    not to mention you can more easily send photos and videos with the other apps than you can with facebook.

  • Are more expensive than the text messaging plans anyway.
  • CEO: Listen everyone, today we will create a service that will charge a hundred times more to send only a few bytes, less than 200 bytes.
    Board: But anyone can do it almost for free through the Internet!
    CEO: So our true cost here will be to keep the internet from the users as much as possible. We have to use every weapon available: charge too much, give them horrible smartphones, have phone makers in our hands, etc.
    Board: Hey, Apple and Google released smartphones allowing anyone to write an app for it.
    CEO:

  • er messaging service?

    i would think gtalk being on every single android phone by default is a pretty big reason. as well as things like google voice having free sms. fb messenger seems like one reason, but zdnet just seems to be speculating that it's the biggest reason
    • by Hadlock (143607)

      I had this conversation with my friend the other day. I noticed most of my friends falling off gtalk, and asked my buddy about it; his response was "well, I still leave gtalk running, but mostly only talk to you and (other good friend) on it. everyone else is on fb messenger these days, in particular girls" which sort of sold me on the idea. Gtalk had critical mass for a few years, but the male:female ratio is about 1:1 on facebook, and most everyone you know on facebook already has the chat app installed e

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @10:13AM (#39985705) Journal

    Seriously, the profits the carriers were getting from text messaging were artificial anyway. Surely they realized that. Text messaging uses otherwise unused bandwidth at the cell site and is *way* overpriced for the value received. It was a glitch in the wireless revenue stream that any savvy provider would realize will go away at some point.

    Facebook on a wireless device does use up data plan, which can also be expensive, but is orders of magnitude cheaper than texting. It's evolution in action.

    I wait with bated breath for the carriers to lobby for protectionist legislation. Perhaps a surcharge on data plans to cover the lost revenue from people abandoning texting.

  • I am sure this has nothing to do with the alleged high cost of SMS compared to the cost to Tweet.

  • I have a feeling this app might be partially responsible for a paradigm shift in data pricing. In other words, carriers will want to compensate for lost revenue by making data even more expensive. There is already talks about going VoLTE. This would turn the basic phone call into a data transmission and subtract from available data quotas in people's plans. CTIA is lobbying VoLTE as a boon to consumers. Not so as it actually makes it more expensive to the consumer to make cellular phone calls. We woul
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday May 13, 2012 @11:30AM (#39986179) Homepage

    A friend of mine with an active social life used to be heavily into Facebook, and the way to reach her was to send to her Facebook account. Then she got an iPhone. After a month or so, she started checking Facebook only once a day, and told me to use SMS or email if I needed a quick response.

    You can't pull out your smartphone for every Facebook update. Most of them are effectively spam.

  • Considering just how widely abused SMS messaging is--both by people who use it when they really shouldn't, and the phone companies who charge much more per-message than they have any reason to--and how much of a pain-in-the-backside the protocol is to work with (requiring little short of a full PBX gateway to interface it with a computer), I'm quite inclined to jump for joy at this finding.

    On the downside, a decent data plan is even MORE expensive, and the messaging protocols are fractious and often both pr

  • It seems that there is a new update to Facebook a couple of times a week. Each update is about 6.5 mega bytes a pop. I really despise software that needs to update this frequently.

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