Thursday, October 20, 2005

applications of text messaging

When text messaging first came about it was a bit of a novelty, but quickly caught on and is now immensly popular. Although highly popular for young people communicating with friends, it is interesting to note the other applications of text messaging and how the medium has made an impact elsewhere. Here are a few examples I came up with (including both ‘incoming’ and ‘outgoing’ forms):

- Text voting on TV shows such as NZ Idol
- Radio competitions and song requests
- Requests for information, free samples...
- Daily jokes, messages...
- Ads on radio and TV with text numbers rather than (and as well as) phone numbers
- Notifications of sport results, weather...
- Text parking
- And heaps more........

Text messaging in such forms seems a good alternative to conventional methods requiring use of a telephone because of the ease for the user and relatively short nature of content. Even businesses such as banks have advertisements incorporating a text message component, which is a good way to attract youth viewers. We didn't even notice these integrations into different media forms, probably because they were gradually introduced as text messaging become more popular. Such methods of communication are obviously beneficial for the user, but are no doubt raking in the money for businesses who employ this new method of connection to consumers and gain the ability of interaction with “prosumers”.

It is also interesting how the concept of text messaging differs between countries. For example, as some have mentioned on this blog, text messaging in the US is secondary to phone calling (the opposite of here). Such differences are of course due to costs. This makes me wonder though, does the US have such a large integration of text messaging applications in the media as is evident in New Zealand? If not, does that make us more technologically advanced than America in this context?

-Shannon Doherty


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