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Messaging Good Cheer Over the Festive Season and New Year

READING, England, January 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Acision reveals spike in global multimedia messaging usage over the seasonal holiday period

Acision, the global leader in mobile messaging, today announced spikes in MMS traffic of up to 424%* over the winter holiday period - specifically on 24th December (Christmas Eve), 25th December (Christmas Day) and 31st December (New Year's Eve). Comparing data from different countries across Europe, North America (NA), LATAM and APAC, Acision found a significant increase in the usage of MMS across the globe, particularly the sharing of video content. This demonstrates the enduring value of rich mobile messaging in mature and developing markets, regardless of access to mobile broadband and connectivity to social networks and content sharing applications.

In today's socially savvy, connected world, growing numbers of mobile users look to use visual content and pictures instantly to show what they are experiencing, whether that be via picture and video applications such as Instagram and YouTube, social networks, communities or via other messaging services. This trend was reinforced during the 2012 festive periods, where Acision witnessed surges in MMS traffic during celebratory times.

Spain, for example, saw MMS usage increase by 384% on Christmas Eve, when compared to the same day the previous week. This was surpassed on New Year's Eve, when MMS traffic increased by 424%. A similar trend was seen in Argentina, where Acision monitored a 146% increase on Christmas Eve, and a 133% rise on New Year's Eve, with busiest hour of traffic - midnight on New Year's Day - increasing by 377%. In the US, MMS traffic increased by 78% on Christmas Day, when compared to the same day a week earlier, and a 57% increase on New Year's Day.

Video clips proved to be the most popular form of multimedia content shared, with video traffic increasing in Spain by an astounding 972% on 24th December 2012. This proves the huge popularity by mobile users who want to share videos of festive activities and good fortune with friends and family not able to be with them during the holiday period. Sharing video via MMS was also popular in Argentina, where it rose by 475% on Christmas Day. In the US, however, audio traffic saw the biggest increase of 289% on Christmas Day, compared to the same day the previous week, where users are most likely sending recorded messages to loved ones and friends wishing them a Merry Christmas.

In India, Acision enabled the delivery of one million MMS messages for a single operator in a 24-hour period, a 400% jump in traffic on an average day. Almost identical MMS figures were seen in India during Diwali, which highlights new consumer behaviour in developing regions, where mobile users want to share experiences and celebrations but do not necessarily have a broadband to do this via other networking applications. Malaysia, a predominantly Islamic state, also saw an increase in MMS traffic of 31% and 47% on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but a smaller increase on December 25th of 11%.

"This increase in the use of mobile messaging during the winter holidays is not entirely unexpected but it does confirm that MMS has shifted in our consciousness as a reliable way to reach loved ones with rich messages during this season," commented Jorgen Nilsson, Chief Executive at Acision. "We put this surge down to consumers' increasing desire to share rich content and special moments, stimulated by the global phenomenon of social networking, which has also been made easier by the growing popularity of Smart devices and access to networking applications."

MMS provides an enriched, thoughtful, personal and yet unobtrusive way to let people know they are being thought of, especially for those who have friends and family around the world who were enjoying their seasonal gatherings or ushering in the New Year in different time zones. Indeed, in both developed and developing regions the preference to use MMS to disseminate visual and audio content instantly is underpinned by the reliability and guarantee that their message will be delivered. If packaged well, MMS presents an enormous opportunity for operators to capitalise on this trend as the service works without a broadband connection and means consumers can send rich content to anyone at any time," continued Nilsson.

SMS figures also rose during the festive season. Spain experienced a 40% jump on both Christmas and New Year's Eve, while the US experienced a more modest 27% rise on Christmas day. SMS traffic was also slightly higher in Argentina, where there was an 11% rise on New Year's Day - compared with 19% for the USA. Interestingly, the growth in MMS was comparatively higher for Argentina than any other country monitored - its growth in SMS during Christmas was only 15%, suggesting that more users than ever are keen for richer experiences and turning to MMS.

Informa research from May last year found that over 387 billion MMS messages will be sent in 2016, representing about 1.7% of global messaging traffic, and making MMS the second most-used messaging application worldwide, after SMS. The spike in MMS during Christmas and New Year shows its popularity as a way to share content, particularly during seasonal holidays, festivities and events. 

*Acision Data

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Acision

As the global leader in mobile messaging, Acision connects the world by powering relevant, seamless messaging services, which enrich the mobile communications experience and create new opportunities for carriers and enterprises across the world. For more information, visit Acision at http://www.acision.com

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