Vodacom has released its financial results for the year ended 31 March 2015, which showed that the number of SMS messages sent on its network plummeted over the last year.
According to Vodacom’s latest figures, its South African subscribers sent 4.4 billion SMSs over the last twelve months – down from 5.8 billion a year ago.
SMS volumes are now the lowest in nearly a decade, which is a sign of how instant messaging has impacted the mobile messaging market.
While SMS volumes decline, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat traffic has skyrocketed in South Africa.
These platforms have taken over from SMS as the mobile messaging service of choice for many cellular users in the country.
The following graph shows the decline in Vodacom’s SMS volumes in recent years.
The Vodacom SMS volume graph looks similar to the WhatsApp vs SMS graph from Portio research, below, which illustrates the rise of WhatsApp and the decline of SMS.