What does the Facebook outage tell us about the resilience of traditional voice and SMS?

A strange thing happened on Monday evening when Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all went offline….Teenagers came out of their rooms and engaged with their parents, people talked to each other instead of staring at their screens, people phoned one another instead of messaging them…

And all of a sudden, we saw a large spike in our customers’ querying our Number Portability Data to route their traffic accurately….a suggestion that voice traffic was increasing across the world and brands were moving away from the OTT platforms and back to good old trusted and resilient SMS.

People and businesses were rushing to find another way to engage with each other and they chose channels that are ubiquitous and stable…ones that can bypass the crashed servers of a social media company.

Before the outage on Monday, we knew that as a marketing channel, SMS had a higher engagement rate than its more popular cousins, email and social media. That proves it’s more trusted as a channel by consumers. This is played out in the market, the channel is growing and expected to reach $72.8bn by 2025, and more and more voice providers are entering the market to diversify their offering and increase their margins. It’s here to stay.

Monday’s outage just demonstrates that it’s crucial to have more than one channel active when you’re engaging with customers. Consumers are flexible but impatient – they won’t wait a long time for services to be restored, they’ll move on to whatever platform is available and easiest.

So, while these new OTT platforms are here to stay, so are the old reliable and stable favourites – messaging and voice providers that provide quality routing for these platforms will continue to reap the rewards

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