Monday, August 21, 2017

iMessage’s Popularity Among US Teens

Giuseppe Stuto (via Dan Masters):

The Piper Jaffrey data shows how commanding iPhones are in today’s smartphone landscape for teens. This is in line with our various surveying here at Fam, in which we have approximated over the past year that 75% of US teens use iPhones. In terms of why this may be the case, there are several factors to consider: design, iTunes, network effects, and of course what we believe to be the most important one, iMessage.


iMessage is a pre-installed platform on every single iPhone so obviously it will naturally have a ton of engagement. But it being pre-installed should not be a reason to discount it, especially when taking into account the level of saturation within the Gen-Z demographic and its dynamic user experience to date (relative to traditional SMS). Of course this is more of a subjective premise, however, after first hand observing how teens use iMessage over the past few years it is clear that they treat it as much more than a basic text message delivery service. It’s the center of their mobile social life, whether they themselves realize that or not.

Update (2017-08-23): John Gruber:

Here’s a Reddit thread chock full of anecdotes about how dominant iMessage and iPhones are among US teens.

Update (2017-10-23): Owen Williams:

It turned out that the only excuse I had for staying in Apple’s ecosystem was quite literally iMessage and that ditching it didn’t matter at all. If that was the only thing stopping me from switching to a Pixel 2, it was a pretty dumb excuse, and one that only self-reinforced over time.


The beauty of 2017 is that it really doesn’t matter — everyone’s on everything anyway, and if you really can’t reach them there’s always *gasp* SMS there to save the day. Almost everyone you know is on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and for the others there’s Signal, Allo, Telegram, Slack, whatever.

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