CWTA: Canadians love for text messaging is declining

Ian Hardy

December 2, 2013 4:19 pm

Texting, according to the latest CWTA chart, is declining.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association has once again released some numbers that show texting habits of Canadians. For the three months ending September 2013, Canadians took to their mobile devices to send over 23 billion text messages, which is approximately 250 million messages per day. The number of MMS messages in Q3 was 316 million.

text-canada

As you can see by the chart number of text messages sent by Canadians is slowly declining. The CWTA tracks “regular phone-to-phone texts” from CWTA carrier members and not third-party services like BBM, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, iMessage or Google Hangouts; many of these services are likely eating into the market for traditional SMS.

Canadians sent 96.5 billion text messages in 2012. The specific numbers for Q1 2013 were 24 billion, and Q2 2013 reached 23.5 billion — this brings the total texts sent in 2013 to 70.5 billion. Estimating that the Q4 busy period matches last year at 25 billion texts sent, we could see the numbers slightly dip to 95.5 billion.

We reached out to the CWTA and they gave us these exact text message totals for 2013:

  • Q1 2013: 24,090,561,961
  • Q2 2013: 23,655,707,096
  • Q3 2013: 23,069,286,907

Source: CWTA (PDF)

  • PewZ

    Honestly, I rarely text anymore, most of my messages go through whats app. It’s just a smoother experience than regular texting and its cross platforms, and theres no delay for sending pictures/videos like regular sms/mms.

  • MatthewSantoro

    Canadian’s are sending more messages via mobile than EVER-just not texts. With all the other (and better) options such as Facebook messaging, iMessage, WhatsApp etc, people are finding less of a need to text.

    • Walter

      I hear you. I still text. But BBM and Google Hangouts make up a good chunk of my communications.

    • ToniCipriani

      Especially when your carrier charges by the message… and yes there are still plans out there which still doesn’t include text. Even if you do, get an international text? 75 cents please.

  • Ian Kwan

    It’s called using data more…texting is very inconvenient now and is only used if the other party doesn’t have data lol

  • spammenotdisqus

    Coincidentally 4Q 2012 is when my Android SMS spam app which allowed me to send my friends 100 messages at a time and crash their dumb phones stopped working… lol

  • deltatux

    I guess my family, friends and I are the few who prefer SMS over instant messaging apps. Yes, we do use BBM Hangout and WhatsApp but only for sending images with each other or for contacting people overseas. Other than that, I use SMS mainly mainly because it saves battery. Also, since texting is so ubiquitous, I don’t need to worry if my friend or family has BBM, Hangouts or WhatsApp.

    • thedosbox

      Precisely. Everyone can read/send texts. Not everyone is on whatsapp/viber
      etc. Having to run multiple messaging apps is just a quick way to kill
      battery life.

  • Tom

    As a somewhat frequent traveler, apps like whatsapp and viber are invaluable for allowing me to stay in touch with friends and family without going through the hassle of finding out which people I should give my foreign prepaid number to. Since those apps use my Canadian number as usernames, my friends and family can text me without knowing my T-Mobile or Orange numbers, as long as I have data/wi-fi when abroad.

    The ability to see if your messages actually got delivered and read is also super handy. Sending pictures and video is also far less finicky with these apps than with SMS, especially if you’re unsure whether your recipient has the ability to receive MMS on his plan.

    Totally worth the < 1 MB of data I use each month on whatsapp/viber/BBM.

  • Stephen_81

    I have 2 iPhone using colleagues who SMS me only because they mass SMS information to a group of people. apart from that it is Twitter, BBM, and email. I would venture to say I send less than 30SMS a month.

    People who used to text a lot are also moving to platforms like BBM and FaceBook.

  • choyM

    I’d gladly get a plan with limited text, limited talk time, and more data. I remember telling someone I got unlimited minutes and he asked me if I need so many minutes. Well, you can’t get more data unless you get the plan with more minutes. Unlimited talk and text makes sense if one has more data on their plan because they are likely to use the data rather than the talk time and text/SMS.

    These stats show that people need more data and not really much of talk and text.

  • L Joel

    it dropped? No duh! Its now illegal to drive and text!!! LOL thats why the numbers dropped….. :)

  • Anaron

    I’m not surprised. I find that most people I know use WhatsApp, BBM, iMessage, Skype, and Viber. I still text my friends but only because I don’t have them on WhatsApp. If BBM is released for WP8, then I’ll text even less.

  • GrimConch

    The amount of people who went months without noticing an iOS update turned off their SMS messaging supports this.