SMS texting (and tracking) peaking in the US

September 3, 2006

A report from the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) suggests that Americans are catching on to SMS text messaging, after years of lagging behind users in Europe and Asia. The report says that 48.7 billion SMS messages were sent in the second half of last year, up 50% on the six months before that.

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The CTIA claims that around 40% of US cellular customers now use text messaging, which is well behind the penetration levels of over 60% found in Europe. The Financial Times quotes Jim Ryan, vice president of consumer data services at Cingular Wireless, who claims that TV programmes such as American Pop Idol, where the viewer sends text messages to vote for their favourite performers, have brought texting to a wider audience. Cingular reported 64.5 million SMS votes for the latest season of Pop Idol, up 52% on the previous year’s run.

This is great news for marketers and great news for all webanalytics experts to find a way to track down SMS marketing efforts. Besides the ability to track links, vendors already have tools, which can measure wireless devices. Websidestory is even able to drill down these devices by model, brand and preferred markup language.

The Brands metric identifies the manufacturers and brands of wireless devices, including cellular phones and PDAs. The Models metric identifies specific model numbers for brands of wireless devices. The Preferred Markup Languages metric identifies the Wireless Markup Languages used to code decks accessed by visitors to your wireless site

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