The use of text messaging over the Internet has been gaining steam around the world, but left the United States relatively untouched until the end of 2012. U.S. cellular providers started to see a decline in revenue from texting due to the popularity of Internet-based messaging services such as Facebook, Kik, WhatsApp and Apple’s (News - Alert) iMessage.
Changing up the Internet messaging game is Chad2Win, a mobile app that pays users up to $34 a month to send messages to friends if they accept advertising. The app has attracted close to 100,000 users, who receive one cent for every advertisement they see and three cents for every ad they click on. While there are a number of free texting services available in the market today, Chad2Win is the first to offer customers payment.
Ovum (News - Alert) estimates operators lost $23 billion in messaging revenue last year to these services that send messages over the Internet. However, Enders Analysis mobile analyst James Barford told Reuters that similar services that offer something for free in exchange for advertising have failed.
"There's an obvious issue in that the type of person who is that careful with their money is not likely to be that attractive to advertisers," he said.
Joyn is the rival to WhatsApp and Chad2Win, which is the consumer-facing brand name for Rich Communications Services (RCS) and allows customers to IM each other and “enrich” voice calls by enabling video sharing and file transfer mid-conversation. It’s operator-agnostic, in the sense that you only need to be on an operator that offers it, regardless of the country. Spain’s the first country in the world where the biggest operators all offer it.
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“With RCS, moving from a voice call to a video call is one click. Or sending data like a picture or movie to the person you are talking to is easy,” Phil Edholm (News - Alert), president and founder of PKE Consulting, recently stated. “With RCS/JOYN, the potential is easy multimedia communications, retaining your phone number as a specific identity enables new capabilities. Finally, as RCS is integrated with the phone, all of the traditional contact lists and other functions will work with the rich media of RCS.”
According to Edholm, with 253 mobile operators committed to LTE (News - Alert) in 84 countries per the GSMA and 500M LTE subscribers anticipated by 2015, VoLTE and RCS will have a large base of potential adopters, many outside of North America.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo