With the rise of technologies like social media, instant messaging, chatbots and email, it is easy to forget that texting is still a popular and powerful form of communication worldwide.
But how many people still text? How many customers are ready to get text messages from businesses? And what numbers to trust?
To address these questions, we’ve collected the most up-to-date text messaging statistics and added some important takeaways we spotted for businesses.
We have also made sure to link to the primary sources of the texting stats and picked the most recent surveys and reports available so feel free to read if you want more detail. But with this summary, you can quickly access the most up-to-date trustworthy text messaging statistics in on place.
General Texting Statistics
1. 5 billion people  around the world have the ability to send and receive messages via SMS in 2018. This is a drastic increase from the 1 billion mobile subscribers in 2003. 
2. 1.5 billion smartphones enabled to send SMS messages were shipped in 2015. 
3. The number of monthly texts sent has increased by more than 7,700% over the last decade.
4. 89% of people always have their smartphone easily accessible.
5. 97% of Americans, in particular, text at least once a day.
6. Texting is the #1 most used way of communication among Americans younger than 50. Use of Communication Devices among Americans 
7. 82% of consumers keep SMS notifications [native, iMessage and Android] switched on.
Takeaway: More than 25 years after its inception, texting is a platform that is still massively used around the world. The volume of text messages sent and the time spent texting conveys the channel’s popularity.
Texting vs Calling
8. US smartphone users send and receive five times more texts than they make and receive calls.
9. On average, Americans spend 26 minutes per day texting compared to 21 minutes per day calling.
10. Consumers in South Korea, India, Singapore and the US prefer SMS over voice calls for customer service.
11. 3 out of 10 consumers would give up phone calls to use messaging.
12. Over 68% of consumers said they text more than they talk on their smartphones.
Texting vs Email
13. 82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive.
14. 55% of consumers prefer SMS for appointment reminders vs 35% of consumers who prefer email for those notifications.
15. 51% of consumers prefer SMS for prescription refills vs 36% of consumers who prefer email for those notifications. 
16. 53% of consumers prefer SMS for service outage notifications vs 34% of consumers who prefer email for those notifications.
17. Smartphone users spend 22% of their time on their phone texting but only 10% of their time using email. 
Takeaway: Consumers prefer to open texts on their mobiles rather than receive emails or calls. This may indicate that texting is viewed as a more trustworthy channel than email or phone calls, which are more likely to be affected by robocalls or spam.
Also, consumers prefer texting to email when it comes to getting time-sensitive notifications.
Texting Statistics by Demographics
18. 68% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 said they had sent or received text messages “a lot” the day before. 
19. 47% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 said they had sent or received text messages “a lot” the day before.
20. 83% of female consumers are likely to receive text messages with coupons or other special offers vs 68% of male consumers. 
21. 77% of consumers who can text aged 18–34 are likely to perceive positively a company that offers text capability. 
22. Over 83% of millennial consumers said they text more than they talk on their smartphones. 
Takeaway: Millennials text heavily compared to Gen X. And also millennials are more open to texting businesses, which is not a surprise taking into account the immediacy of text messaging.
Texting Statistics by Country
23. 86% of US consumers opt in to receive SMS notifications (native, iMessage and Android).
24. 82% of European consumers opt in to receive SMS notifications.
25. 77% of Asian consumers opt in to receive SMS notifications.
26. 82% is the open rate for text messages in the US.
27. 33% of British respondents received a text from a healthcare provider during the period Q1 2015–Q2 2016 compared to 15% of global respondents.
28. More than half of German consumers did not receive a text message from a business during the period Q1 2015–Q2 2016.
29. 58% of French mobile users, 40% of British mobile users and 35% of US mobile users trust SMS to communicate with companies. Those numbers are higher than the global average of 35%.
Takeaway: US mobile users text frequently and showcase a high response rate. French users are optimistic about texting businesses, while in Germany, businesses rarely text customers.
Business Texting Statistics
30. 47% of consumers prefer native SMS to message businesses compared to 34% of consumers who prefer native SMS to message family and friends.
31. 78% of US consumers say receiving a text message is the fastest way to reach them for important service updates and purchases.
32. 80% of US consumers said that providing basic information is the most important feature of service-based messaging to positively impact satisfaction.
33. 76% of US consumers said that speed is the most important feature of service-based messaging to positively impact satisfaction.
34. 58% of consumers indicated they would view a business more positively if they offered SMS capabilities.
35. 91% of users who opted in to receive texts from a brand see those messages as “somewhat” or “very useful”.
36. 50% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages to receive personal alerts.
37. 48% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages to be in the loop.
38. 31% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages so that they wouldn’t need to visit a physical location or website or app for information.
39. 52% of consumers said they didn’t opt in to a brand’s text messages because they found them disruptive.
40. 23% of consumers have received texts from companies they ordered something from.
Takeaway: Consumers across industries are looking for more engagement through text messaging. In addition to receiving customer service help, transactional messages and sales offers through SMS, consumers often prefer text messaging for scheduling or changing appointments and for making or confirming reservations.
SMS Marketing Statistics
41. 83% of marketers promoting email subscription via SMS said it was “very effective/effective”.
42. 96% of marketers rated mobile welcome SMS as “very effective/effective” or “somewhat effective”.
43. 77% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages to receive coupons or deals.
44. 33% of consumers said they opted in to a brand’s text messages to gain access to more meaningful content.
45. 41% of consumers said they didn’t opt in to a brand’s text messages because the texts didn’t provide meaningful content.
46. Texts with promotional links have CTRs (click-through-rates) as high as 30% .
Takeaway: Customers are willing to receive marketing texts that deliver immediate value (like coupons) or that provide access to meaningful content.
Texting Statistics by Industry
47. 69% of US consumers appreciate getting texts or emails from healthcare providers. Respondents noted that texts are particularly useful for appointment reminders and to give guidelines for upcoming tests.
48. 33% of people received or sent a text message from/to a bank over the period Q1 2015–Q1 2016.
49. 17% of people received or sent a text message from/to an educational institution over the period Q1 2015–Q1 2016.
50. 15% of people received or sent a text message from/to an employer over the period Q1 2015–Q1 2016.
51. 67% of US smartphone owners said they would like to receive service-based messages from banks/financial institutions.
52. 64% of US smartphone owners said they would like to receive service-based messages from retail stores.
53. 55% of US consumers said they would like to receive service-based messages from travel companies and delivery/restaurant businesses.
Takeaway: Banks, financial institutions, healthcare providers, retail stores, travel companies and restaurants can definitely benefit from sending service-related text messages.
Whether you have already integrated text messaging into your marketing, customer service and communications strategy or you are looking to add these features in 2018, stay tuned into consumers’ changing needs and demands for SMS communication.
Texting vs. Social Media
54. All digital growth is now coming from mobile, which comprises 65% of time spent online.
55. In 2017, more than 70% of social referrals in the ShareThis network came from mobile phones, while another 10% came from tablets.
56. 22% of U.S. adults use Twitter, but the conversation is largely dominated by just a small portion of users: 10% of users create 80% of tweets.
57. The half-life of a tweet is about 24 minutes and gets 75% of its engagement in less than three hours.
58. The median engagement rate on Twitter is just 0.5, indicating that the vast majority of tweets get no engagement at all.
59. 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes.
60. 50% of U.S. consumers who receive branded text messages proceed to make a purchase.
61. 60% of consumers say they’d redeem a mobile coupon they received via text message within a week.
62. Text messaging is a primary vehicle for Application to Person (A2P) messaging, consisting of promotional alerts, appointment reminders, customer service updates, and delivery updates. 1.67 trillion Application to Person (A2P) SMS messages were sent in 2017, accounting for 75% of total market revenue.
63. Two-factor authentication messages (2FA), such as those from financial institutions for authorizing transactions, accounted for 20% of traffic, or nearly 300 billion messages in 2017 – a use case for text messaging that social media can’t provide.
Takeaway: Texting is most similar to Twitter in terms of typical message length, and while Twitter is useful for getting a message out to a large audience, text messages are opened and engaged with at a much higher rate, and more than half of consumers say they’d act on offers such as mobile coupons within a week.
While social media shouldn’t be ignored, brands can benefit from supplementing social media campaigns with personalized SMS marketing.
Additionally, text messaging offers certain use cases that can’t be achieved with social media, such as two-factor authentication messaging.
- GSMA Intelligence
- GSMA Intelligence, June 2017
- Twilio Messaging Consumer Report, 2016
- Text Messaging Statistics – United States – Statistic Brain
- The Wireless Industry Data by CTIA
- U.S. Smartphone Use Report by Pew Research Center, October 2014
- Survey by Gallup, September 2014
- International Smartphone Mobility Report by Infomate , January 2015
- GFK MRI Study according to the GFK Blog, September – November 2015
- Flowroute Nationwide Survey, 2016
- The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message by OneReach, August 2014
- Shift Communications Consumer Survey, September 2015
- MEF Mobile Messaging Report, 2016
- State of Marketing Survey by Salesforce, 2015
- Transactional Messaging Consumer Report by Vibes, 2016
- Salesforce Mobile Behavior Report, 2014
- 69% of US consumers appreciate getting texts or emails from healthcare providers.(Archived), June – July 2015
- 5 surefire ways to win the race for mobile readers, February 2019
- Meet our new share buttons: Mobile optimized, beautiful, and lightning fast, February 2018
- Key takeaways from our new study of how Americans use Twitter, April 2019
- Your tweet half-life is 1 billion times shorter than Carbon-14’s (archived), March 2014
- Mention’s Twitter Report 2018, 2018
- Why businesses can’t ignore SMS (Hint: 90% of people read a text message within the first 3 minutes), March 2015
- Marketing With 98 Percent Read-Rate and 10 More Compelling Stats, July 2015
- CodeBroker Mobile Coupon Survey, 2018
- Operators Target $26 Billion Business Messaging Market, February 2018