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article imageFacebook says Messenger isn't ruining face-to-face communications

By James Walker     Nov 16, 2017 in Technology
Facebook's published the results of a study into how people use Messenger. The company claimed use of online messaging apps actually increases the time people spend meeting in the real world. It also revealed 80 percent of adults send a message every day.
The study looked at several common "myths" surrounding digital messaging to determine whether apps really are eroding face-to-face communications. According to Facebook, its own evidence suggests there's no reason to believe this is the case. It claimed that people who regularly message each other are 52 percent more likely to also talk frequently face-to-face.
Facebook did find that messaging is replacing other forms of communication, just not face-to-face conversations. 67 percent of people are messaging more often than they were two years ago, indicating the growth of services like Messenger is coming at the expense of traditional voice calls and other platforms.
Facebook Messenger study November 2017
Facebook Messenger study November 2017
The study also claimed that people have more "authentic" dialogues on digital platforms because they're bolder and more honest. As messaging creates a digital barrier between users, people are more likely to say their thoughts and be direct in conversations. 66 percent of people said they are more upfront when using a messaging service.
The growth of digital messaging isn't slowing down. Facebook Messenger is now one of the biggest apps in the world with over a billion users. Globally, chat services are used by 80 percent of adults aged 19 to 64 and 91 percent of teens aged 13 to 18 each day.
Facebook Messenger study November 2017
Facebook Messenger study November 2017
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67 percent of people regularly talk on a messaging app, compared with 47 percent for email and 38 percent face-to-face. According to Facebook, this provides evidence that digital platforms help people make and maintain relationships.
"At Messenger, we believe in the power of messages to make meaningful connections. We believe in their power to engage and unite the people who make use of them," said Facebook.
"With this study, we wanted to dig deeper into how our global conversation has evolved and get a glimpse of where it is going, plus understand if some commonly believed myths were true. What we found is that messaging turns out to be not a wedge, but instead a bridge bringing us closer together."
Facebook commissioned the study as part of its celebrations for the upcoming 25th anniversary of the sending of the first SMS message. December 3rd 2017 will mark a major milestone in the history of digital messaging. Although SMS has suffered at the hands of web-based platforms like Messenger, the venerable mobile standard is still one of the most popular ways to stay in touch.
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