According to a recent study, the use of instant messaging apps and services in the UK is set to sky rocket, with the number of messages being sent expected to double.
The study, conducted by professional services firm Deloitte, claims that Brits will have tapped up an estimated total of 300 billion messages by Christmas time, meaning that the number has nearly doubled from the 160 billion figure from 2013.
Experts suggest that the growth is due to the popularity of free software such as WhatsApp, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger, which allow users to communicate with one another through internet connections.
The volume of instant messages also outweighs the number of standard SMSs being sent, with the average smartphone user sending seven texts a day compared to 46 instant messages. The increasing use of web-based correspondence has meant that the forecasted figure of texts being sent is expected to decline for the first time since its inception in 1992.
Social media firms such as Facebook have detected this surge in instant messaging, and have used this as part of their internet marketing strategies to attract more people to their services. Facebook has identified the service as an important cog in its plans and, as a result, purchased WhatsApp in February this year. The social platform has also developed its own Messenger service and created Slingshot, a photo-messaging program that stands as a rival to Snapchat, which turned down Facebook’s acquisition offer of $3bn (£1.78bn) last year.