Monday, August 07, 2006

Why we don't get the (text) message

Great business 2.0 article on why SMS hasn't taken off in the US as it has overseas. Or at least not with most. I'm usually over 1000 per month counting inbound and outbound (largely thanks to 4info and Google SMS), especially during baseball season.

Why we don't get the (text) message

Interesting snippets:

Ecuador, with a per capita GDP of $4,300, has the United States beat when it comes to a critical wireless technology. Americans may be 10 times as wealthy, but Ecuadorians send four times as many text messages.

Users in Ecuador and the Philippines send north of 200 SMS messages a month and the Danes and Irish average 100 a month, while Americans manage to tap out fewer than 50.

In cell-phone-swamped Finland, there are popular TV programs where you can send texts that scroll onto the screen in a live chat, and others where you direct a character via SMS.

The right way to think about text messaging for now is to bring successful SMS services tested elsewhere to the United States. Google gets this - which is why it's basing much of its wireless development in London, not Mountain View.

Exponentia, a startup in Vancouver, British Columbia, has a service that allows Canadians to predict the next play by SMS in everything from golf to hockey.

Rather than substituting for PC-based communication, as it does in poorer countries, mobile messaging Stateside will untether commerce, social networks, and other applications originally tied to PCs. When smart innovators translate services originated abroad to America's cell phones, we'll really get the message.

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