New data from UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has revealed that although SMS texting via mobile devices continues to play a major part in communications between UK individuals, its use may well have peaked following the revelation of a slight decline in activity.
According to Ofcom, a comparison of the first two quarters of 2012 reveal that the number of texts sent fell from 39.1 billion to 38.5 billion – a decrease which mirrored a similar decline following the last quarter of 2011 when the quantity of texts numbered 39.4 billion.
If the small declines continue, it will admittedly have come following a period of significant and consistent growth for the medium (the total number of texts sent throughout the whole of 2006 for example stood at just 51 billion).
Some commentators argue that a decline is inevitable given the wider availability of web-enabled smartphones and tablets, and the corresponding surge in communications via social media.
In spite of this slight reversal, Ofcom’s figures reveal that among at least one user category, texting has actually increased. For those in their early teens, the average number of texts sent each week has doubled since last year and now stands at 193.
Girls in particular remain keen text users – with the average number of SMS messages sent totalling 221 each week.
Interestingly, the Ofcom data also reveals that those aged between eight and 11 average 41 texts each week.
Some commentators argue that these figures could be influenced by the increasing availability of unlimited text packages.