More Texting = More Talking


I love this study. It’s from an independent organization on American technology use.
Here’s the interesting part for me:

  • 26% of all teens (including those with and without cell phones) say they talk daily with friends on their cell phone, down from 38% of teens in 2009.

However, the Pew Internet survey shows that the heaviest texters are also the heaviest talkers. The heaviest texters (those who exchange more than 100 texts a day) are much more likely than lighter texters to say that they talk on their cell phone daily. Some 69% of heavy texters talk daily on their cell phones, compared with 46% of medium texters (those exchanging 21-100 texts a day) and 43% of light texters (those exchanging 0-20 texts a day). “

The study shows teens are talking less on their cell phones than in 2009, while texting has increased. This finding seems so obvious since it’s been splashed all over the media.

But what you never hear is the second part, that heavy texters are also the heaviest talkers! More texting = more voice. Once you hear that, it makes sense. Socially active people talk more. Those who prefer a good book?…probably less.

Why is this important? Well, what I’m saying is that you need to put voice services where people are socially active.

A high-ranking carrier executive once told me that social network users don’t want voice services. “They want messaging only” he said. He cited his daughter as his proof. However, she wasn’t given a test product to try nor did she hear about friends using calling from social networks. Most teen behavior today is virally picked up from early

adopters. He mentioned that he had asked her over a bowl of frosted flakes what she wanted. Taken in that context, I don’t agree with his conclusion.

In general, for the mobile operators, voice services seem to be low priority. But they are under threat from VoIP competitors and would benefit from both innovation in voice distribution and a presence on the social web. It seems to me that a senior manager should inspire co-workers to champion the product responsible for about 75% of their revenue: voice services!

We’re in the midst of the biggest disruption in communications in the last 100 years and the carriers are looking for more data revenues. Ok, it might pan out. But, read the study and ask yourself what you would do with a $100 billion voice company.

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