How Frequently Are SMS, Messaging App Users Spammed? - eMarketer

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How Frequently Are SMS, Messaging App Users Spammed?

Nearly six in 10 SMS users get spam at least weekly

October 11, 2016

Spam messages coming from SMS and messaging apps are becoming more widespread, research reveals. Indeed, more than half of text message users worldwide receive an unsolicited message via SMS at least once a week, and more than a quarter say they’re spammed every day.

Frequency with Which Mobile Media Users Worldwide Receive Unsolicited/Spam Messages via SMS/Text vs. Messaging App, Q2 2016 (% of respondents)

Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), a global trade body that addresses issues facing the mobile industry, and CLX Communications, a provider of cloud-based communication solutions for enterprises and mobile operates, surveyed 5,850 mobile media users in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK and the US.

Most are being spammed frequently. In addition to the 28% of SMS users who are receiving unsolicited messages via SMS every day, 26% of mobile messaging app users are getting spam on their over-the-top (OTT) messaging apps just as frequently.

Still, spamming is less of an issue within messaging apps, the survey found. For example, 20% of SMS users said they received spam messages one to three times a week. To compare, 14% of mobile messaging app users said they received the same amount of unsolicited messages via a messaging app. Overall, 58% of SMS users said they got spammed at least weekly, compared to 49% of messaging app users.

Mobile Phone Messaging App Users and Penetration Worldwide, 2014-2019 (billions, % change and % of mobile phone internet users)

Furthermore, mobile messaging app users were almost twice as likely to say they never got spam as SMS users.

Nonetheless, many users are getting unsolicited messages via this channel, and as the number of mobile messaging app users continues to grow, that can become worrisome. eMarketer estimates that mobile phone messaging apps will be used by more than 1.6 billion consumers this year. The growth in popularity of messaging apps is projected to continue, and eMarketer predicts that by 2018, the number of chat app users worldwide will reach 2 billion and represent 80% of smartphone users.

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