Is Facebook replacing text messaging?

While Canada’s love affair with text messaging continued on strong in 2011 with 78 billion messages sent, there are signs that the love affair may be waning in other parts of the world. A report by Strand Consult, a telecommunications consulting firm, found that the amount of time smartphone users are spending on Facebook is increasing. It suggests that a growing number of messages are being exchanged through that platform rather than text messages. “Many operators are seeing an increasing number of customers moving their SMS traffic over to Facebook, resulting in their SMS cash cow getting thinner and thinner,” Strand Consult wrote in its research note.

It’s not the first time that Facebook is tied to a decrease in text message volumes. A report earlier this year attributed decreases to newer instant communication tools such as Facebook, Twitter and platform-specific tools such as BBM and iMessage.

A separate report by Chetan Sharma, an independent mobile analyst, found a similar trend in the Philippines, one of the top texting nations. Text messages sent by an average cellphone user dropped from 660 per month in 2010 to about 400 per month in 2011. Again, the drop was attributed to alternative communication tools such as Skype, iMessage, and Google Voice.

Are you texting less and using other communication tools such as Facebook instead?

Read more: The New York Times