How WhatsApp is killing SMS in South Africa

Okechukwu Solomon November 19, 2016
Vodacom’s latest financial results show a continued decline in SMS volumes, which is a direct result of customers using WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.




Vodacom has released its interim results for the six months ended 30 September 2016, which show that the sharp decline in SMS volumes are continuing.

SMS volumes peaked in September 2011, with 3.3 billion messages sent over a six-month period on Vodacom’s network.

Since then, SMS volumes have shown a steady decline – which is mainly a result of the increased use of messaging services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

The uptake of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, in turn, is fuelled by the increased use of smartphones in South Africa.

Vodacom is aggressively growing its smartphone user base by making more affordable devices available in the market.

These users then take advantage of the benefits of mobile messaging services.

The graph below shows the number of SMS messages sent on Vodacom’s network, in millions, since 2004.

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