Research: UK prefers Whatsapp to phone calls
October 25, 2023
While mobile phone calls are still a popular way to keep in touch with friends and family, most adults would rather go without them for a day than forgo their favourite messaging apps if they had to choose between them, according to research published by Ofcom.
Online communication services like WhatsApp and Snapchat have become increasingly important to daily lives. So, Ofcom has been taking a closer look at how people use them outside of work, how they affect the role of traditional telecoms services, and how these markets may evolve in future.
According to the research, between 2012 and 2022, the number of text messages (SMS and MMS) sent fell from 151 billion to 36 billion. Over the same period, the number of online messages sent in the UK has increased from 100 billion a year to over 1.3 trillion.
Mobile phone calls are still a popular way to keep in touch with friends and family. Between 2012 and 2022, the amount of time we spent making mobile phone calls increased from 132 billion minutes to 170 billion minutes, and 83 per cent of UK adults have made a mobile call in the last three months.
However, only a quarter (26 per cent) of those people made a mobile phone call on a daily basis, and even fewer (23 per cent) sent a traditional text message every day. In comparison, two thirds (67 per cent) of people who use an online communications service do so daily.
Around three in five UK adults (58 per cent) say they would rather go without mobile phone calls for 24 hours than go without their favourite messaging apps.