Application-Based Peer-to-Peer Messaging Is Gaining Ground on Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) in United States

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GetJar survey shows most U.S. subscribers said they have used MMS to send photos but 16 percent have turned to an alternative: mobile social applications.

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Not long ago, application-based messaging was unheard of, while today it's clear that there's a significant trend towards embracing this form of communication

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Mobile phone users in the United States are increasingly turning to phone-based social applications such Bing, Cellity, eBuddy, EQO, Flurry, mig33, Nimbuzz, and Trutap for messaging and photo sharing, rather than using the multimedia messaging service (MMS) offered by their carrier. These findings are the result of a survey of 1,500 mobile phone users conducted during May 2008 on the GetJar portal, which is visited by thousands of mobile subscribers daily. GetJar is the world's largest portal for downloading mobile applications.

Charts that accompany this commentary can be found here: link.

The survey shows that 58 percent of respondents currently use MMS to send photos and videos from their mobile phone, compared to 16 percent who currently use an application on their phone to send such media to another subscriber. 26 percent said they never send photos and videos from their phone. (See attachment, chart A)

When asked whether, in future, they would use either MMS or an application to send photos or videos, 57 percent of respondents said they would use MMS, versus 18 percent who said they would use an application (chart D). This change from current behavior, while small, could indicate that users who are today considering sending a photo or video from their phone for the first time may be more likely to use a phone-based application instead of MMS.

Regular users of MMS in the United States overwhelmingly reported success when using MMS, with only one-quarter stating that the service was rarely or never successful. (chart C)

Overall, the survey showed that there is low awareness of MMS in the United States; nearly half of respondents said they did not know what MMS actually is (chart B). Of those that claimed to know about it, twice as many said they had used MMS in the last month, compared to those who reported they had not. The survey also revealed that, unlike their British counterparts, American mobile phone users are less familiar with MMS -- and use it less.

"Not long ago, application-based messaging was unheard of, while today it's clear that there's a significant trend towards embracing this form of communication," commented Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar. "One reason might be that users experience various setup and compatibility issues when using MMS. But we suspect that what is driving this behavior is the availability of a wide range of free messaging applications that will likely supplant MMS in the long run, especially as more subscribers opt for a data plan for their phone."

GetJar's site statistics showed a climb in the popularity of messaging applications in recent months, both from developers and in the level of downloads, with over 3.7 million downloads by users per month.

About GetJar:
Founded in 2004, GetJar (Web:; Phone: is the world's most popular mobile application distribution and developer community, with over 200,000 registered developer and beta-tester accounts. GetJar operates a groundbreaking business model that connects consumers, developers, publishers and advertisers in an interactive environment, an approach that gives users an active role in product development. With over 200 million downloads from the site in just two years, and currently averaging over 14 million downloads per month, GetJar sits at the heart of the mobile development world, attracting visitors from 135 countries. GetJar is based in the UK and Lithuania.


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