What Would Customers Choose If They Could Keep Only 1 App?

Only 26% would keep actual voice-calling capabilities, and 40% of respondents would keep text messaging.
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Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 13:09

From DMing on social media, text messaging, and Snapchatting to traditional phone calls and emailing, the ways to connect with others are growing. But which method is preferred? LivePerson research has revealed that consumers rank text messaging as #1.

In August 2016, we conducted an online survey to provide insight into consumer app behavior. We asked: “Which app would you choose if you could only keep one app on your smartphone?” Here’s what we learned.

Text beats the phone for the #1 spot.

More than double the number of respondents used text messaging (74%) than made a phone call (34%) in the 24 hours immediately leading up to the survey. It’s not surprising, then, that 40% of respondents stated they would keep their messaging app on their phone if they could only keep one. The voice-calling app came in with the second-highest numbers: 26% of respondents selected it as the one app they’d keep if they had to make a choice.

The preference for text was similar across generations. For respondents 64 years and up, 71% said they had texted in the 24 hours prior to the survey, and only 30% had made a phone call. This age group was even more likely to have emailed (68%), been on Facebook (62%), and used Facebook Messenger (36%) in the same 24-hour period than made a phone call.

Predictably, the stats from millennials skewed higher — but not by much. For respondents ages 18–34, 79% sent text messages in the past day, and 45% made phone calls.

Snapchat divides generations.

Although Snapchat is an ephemeral method of communicating, 5% of respondents stated they would still elect to keep it as their only mobile app. This number jumps to 17% when focusing solely on millennials’ preferences. In fact, millennials would rather have Snapchat than their phone app, which only 14% would opt to keep as their only app.

Snapchat is clearly more popular among the younger generations: 66% of 18–24-year-olds stated they had used Snapchat within the past 24 hours. That number drops to 37% for respondents ages 25–34 who affirmed they used the app during the same time period, and only 5% of boomers (ages 55–64) reported using Snapchat in those 24 hours.

What about Facebook?

After text messaging and the phone app, Facebook came in third place, with 15% of respondents choosing it as the only app they would keep on their smartphones. While 63% of respondents had used Facebook in the 24 hours prior to the survey, usage seems to be gendered to some degree. Out of all respondents, 71% of women had used Facebook in the last 24 hours versus 54% of men. A similar though smaller gap exists for Facebook Messenger: 47% of women used it in the 24 hours leading up to the survey compared to 30% of men.

While social media remains popular and phone calls are still important to many, text messaging has emerged as the preferred method of communication for most consumers. Brands need to see past the congested field of customer service strategies and social media trends to focus on what consumers really want: hassle-free customer service that reflects their preference to message a brand on mobile.

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