Texting has overtaken traditional phone calls as the most popular way for Britons to communicate with friends and family, according to a report by communications regulator Ofcom.
Last year, a total of 150 billion text messages were sent, with the average UK consumer sending 50 a week. This figure has more than doubled since 2008.
Ofcom's Communications Market Report 2012 revealed the trend after surveying British adults about the methods which they use to communicate on a daily basis.
While the amount of phone calls made dropped for the first time via both landlines and mobile devices, a total of 90 minutes per week was spent using social networking sites and email.
Meanwhile, just under four in 10 adults (39 percent) now own smartphones, which is a 12 percent increase on two years ago. Of these consumers, 42 percent say their smartphone is their most important gadget for accessing the internet.
Through smartphones, 42 percent also said they regularly check social networking sites, while 51 percent send emails.
"What is perhaps most fascinating is the battle taking place between operators and cutting-edge OTT messaging services like WhatsApp," commented Greenwich Consulting managing partner Fred Huet.
"As consumers will clearly continue to use messaging, innovation will be key in ensuring operators’ continued relevance in this space as mobile-phone users look to move beyond traditional SMS.”
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