NetGuide NZ - Twenty years of texting for avid Kiwis

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Twenty years of texting for avid Kiwis

New Zealanders continue to be keen texters despite a global decline since the introduction of smartphones.

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the world's first text this week, Kiwis came ahead of Brits and Americans who have moved on from conventional mobile communication over the past few years.

While texting is not in decline across New Zealand, the figures are seemingly flattening out year-on-year, leading some experts to suggest whether the art of texting has peaked in popularity.

The APNZ reported that on the Vodafone network, 7.3 billion texts were sent across the country last year, averaging at 22 million per day, with Telecom users sending slightly less at 19 million per day.

"The reason for that is obviously the prevalence of smartphones and instant messaging," says Michelle Baguley, Vodafone spokeswoman.

"Our seven billion texts a year, that's over nine texts a day per user. And if you consider that some users are not sending any, some are sending an awful lot.

"As phones became more affordable and got into the hands of teenagers, that's when it really took off, and New Zealand in particular has embraced text messaging, ahead of other countries."

Telecom reported a significant rise in daily texting, up eight million a day in nearly eight years.

"People are definitely sending and receiving more texts - it's just become the mainstream way to communicate, not just for people dealing with friends and family, but also businesses as well," says Jo Jalfon, Telecom spokeswoman.

Vodafone first introduced text messaging to Kiwis in 1993, with Telecom's first text being sent on the recently shut down CDMA network in 1996.

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