Over half of Brits and Americans make use of Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) as a habitual messaging and content sharing service, with a spike in traffic expected over the festive season.
According to a survey by mobile messaging company Acision, 51% of British and 58% of American smartphone users currently use the platform. This makes it the second most-popular messaging tool after SMS in the US and third behind SMS and Facebook Messenger in the UK.
The annual report found that MMS is used at least once a week by around six in seven US subscribers (87%) and two thirds of UK subscribers (66%). Daily use of MMS is stronger in the US, with 38% of MMS users sending at least one 'picture text' each day compared to 22% in the UK.
Festive periods and special occasions often cause a spike in MMS activity, with 47% of Brits and 53% of Americans sending MMS for Valentine's Day, New Year or at Christmas.
With growing numbers of mobile users looking to share visual content instantly, to show what they are experiencing, Acision predicts there will be a spike in MMS traffic over the festive period. Acision saw such spikes in MMS traffic, of up to 424%, over the winter holiday period last year - specifically on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.
Sullivan concluded, "Our findings show that MMS is still very much part of people's everyday mobile experience. While the arrival of social media and OTT messaging is increasing, they are still not able to generate the same revenues as MMS which, as part of the traditional messaging family, is still the biggest non-voice source of revenue.
"We expect to see a repeat of last year's spike in MMS traffic over the Christmas period, as users choose to share intimate moments with their loved ones. Operators must continue to harness this opportunity and invest in new ways to ensure MMS is an affordable and efficient messaging platform for all mobile subscribers".