IM set to overtake email, study finds

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Instant messaging  (IM) services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are set to overtake email, according to new research.

Last year, email made up the majority of internet messaging traffic, with around 35 trillion messages sent globally.

Data compiled by Juniper analysts now shows that over the next year, IM services will surpass this figure, accumulating almost 43 trillion messages.

The research cited the low cost of most messaging services – as well as the spread of inexpensive mobile internet – as one of the trend’s key contributing factors.

WhatsApp alone hosts more than 30 billion messages per day, according to the company, and services like WeChat and Snapchat have had similar success.

Also noted is the fact that 80 per cent of emails sent can be dismissed as spam, possibly indicating that by some benchmarks, email has already been surpassed as the dominant messaging form.

However, SMS remains a hugely successful messaging format, particularly for enterprise users. Network Provider EE uses SMS to communicate with its customers, and states that 99 per cent of all text messages are read by the recipient, with 90 per cent being read within three minutes.

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