Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Korean Fact of the Day: Less Text Messages

[Can this new gimmick item last more than a few weeks? We'll find out!]

Between 2010 and 2011, the number of text messages sent and received in Korea declined precipitously, by 22.6 percent. This is the first time in the history of text messaging where the number of text messages decreased. In 2012, the number of text messages dropped by 6 to 8 percent every month.

Why? Because of the proliferation of mobile instant messaging, or MIM. In the U.S., Whatsapp, Kik Messenger or Blackberry Messanger are mildly popular, but not enough to dent the number of text messages. In Korea, MIMs such as Kakao Talk and Line have become so universally popular that virtually every Korean sends text-based messages through those services.

Got a question or a comment for the Korean? Email away at askakorean@gmail.com.

8 comments:

  1. I like these shorter discussions of random facts :)
    Something similar-ish happened to me. Between iPhones there are iMessages, which don't count as texts. A lot of my friends are turning 16 and are getting iPhones for their birthdays, so all of a sudden I'm not using texts as much. I noticed this looking at my phone bill - I'd been paying for unlimited texts but used very little.

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  2. I have an Android device, as do most of my friends. I prefer sending them messages through gChat (ie "Talk") instead of text messages because gChats show up in their email, and most of my friends are perpetually online.

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  3. (Also, shouldn't it be "fewer" text messages?)

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  4. Yup, I feel like I'm the last person in Korea not using a smartphone yet (by choice I should mention, I was offered a free iPhone 4S and turned it down to keep my old school phone), but I keep getting flack for not being accessible by kakao talk by my Korean friends and non-korean friends alike here. But, I rather like not being able to check my email every 30 seconds and surf the internet at every possible moment, because if and when I go over to the dark side, that is what I'll be doing. Plus, my 25,000 won per month phone bill.

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  5. I like the short post! I haven't been to Korea since the 1980s so it's interesting to learn tidbits like this.

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  6. Well, aren'y MIM cheaper than SMS messages? Especially when you're using a free public wi-fi service.

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  7. This is interesting as texts are increasing in the ISA. Monthly plans 10yrs ago were about unlimited minutes. Now plans are 300imin and unlimited DATA, with data being txt & pics & video.

    Is MIM an internal messaging system, like AIM?
    for it to wokr doesnt one have to have friends who all have the same phone? IE to use gchat all friends must have android , & 2 use imessageall friends must iphone ?

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