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How much are telcos losing on FB & Twitter?

Last Christmas, the trend started with people shifting from sending out text messages on their phone to just using Facebook and Twitter to greet friends and loved ones.

We estimated as much as Php50 million could have been lost to Facebook just on Christmas eve.

This year, people have been using Facebook and Twitter way more than a year ago and it’s not just during Christmas or New Year’s day.

Counter-measures were made to offset that shift with telcos offering unlimited access to Facebook and many other social networking sites (for a daily flat rate between Php20 to Php25).

But the trend still remains — people send less SMS and using social networking sites like FB or Twitter as an alternative. How much the telcos are losing from this shift is unknown but maybe we can do some rough estimates.

Last time I checked, there are around 18 million accounts on Facebook from the Philippines. If we can figure out how much less an average FB user send text messages in favor of FB messages to greet people, that could one way of extrapolating the figure.

So, how much less have you bee texting and using FB or Twitter instead to send out greetings this holiday season?

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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53 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Sent all my greeting through FB.

    It’s because of mainly 2 things.
    1. It’s way cheaper.
    2. It’s much easier.

    It’s also party due to the bad rep that telcos have during this season.

    Telcos should sell IP more rather than focus most sales effort on older GSM technology. Better promos and service for wireless broadband (HSPA) users is what they should do to earn more. (especially with the increase in smart phone users in the Philippines)

  2. Jhay says:

    If you can’t beat ’em, join them right? I suppose the telcos’ offering mobile access to FB and Twitter compensates for the much lower volume of SMS sent this past Christmas.

  3. Jan says:

    I think it really would happen because it’s way more easier and faster. Also because during these seasons it’s really troublesome to send or use SMS.

  4. dhan says:

    I really don’t txt unless I’m outside or important.

    1. fb and twitter sends msg on the dot w/o delay.
    2. it’s free
    3. wifi hotspots are increasing, tap in and msg/post away.
    4. and best of all, there’s no limit to how many you send or expiration :)

  5. Toughie says:

    I was hoping to send text messages, but Globe’s network is too congested to process my registration for their unlimited texting service. Sent messages using FB instead.

  6. Pusang Kulog says:

    Stopped using txt messages since I discovered facebook 2 years ago… I only use texting for people who still doesn’t have a facebook account…

  7. ewancoo says:

    it’s easier to type on keyboard rather on mobile phone. so when you’re already online, why not just greet your friends on fb rather than texting them all. One idea i can think of is, if the telcos can create a desktop application wherein users can read/send messages of their mobile phone through any PC, im sure their income will soar :) it will give convenience to the users, and the users wouldn’t notice that their actually texting (only they do it on the comfort of their PC).

  8. s2upid says:

    18 million accounts on Facebook from the Philippines

    18 million x 20 pesos per day = ~Php 360,000,000.00 per day

    8 million x 20 pesos per day = ~Php 160,000,000.00 per day x 28 days = ~Php 4,480,000,000.00 per month

    not including those still using txt

    still think it’s bad?

  9. lolipown says:

    This can already be done via the tattoo/smart bro modem.

  10. NemOry says:

    tama nga. . .balang araw unti unti nalang talaga gagamit ng text, .peru ang call hindi pa ma aapektohan masyado. .lalo na ngay0n super dmi gumagamit ng internet mpa CP or PC., sa cp dami nkaka free ng internet kagaya q.hehe. .

  11. raymond says:

    How can they lose revenues when Globe, Sun, and Smart are also the internet service providers?

  12. @raymond – if you’re an internet subscriber(say for 999 pesos) and you sent an sms (say 1 peso) then that’s 1000 pesos for them. If you don’t send sms then that’s only 999 pesos for them. If you send more sms, that’s even more money for them and when more people do that then that’s even, even, even more money for them.

    I also used facebook to greet everyone I know but then I had to call abroad because I wanted to talk to my relatives there.

  13. smartee says:

    oo nga, sobrang baba ng sms traffic nung 24×25

  14. Chino says:

    Tama si Raymond, Sila din yun eh

  15. Doodles says:

    I used to have a smart postpaid plan at P1,200 a month. Now I shifted to prepaid and the P300 load is more than enough to last the allowable 75 days of Globe. Ok, I have a mobile PLDT that costs an extra P250 a month. Still, wifi, mobile skype and other social networking services help me save enough money which I could then use to buy better phones and other gadgets.

  16. manong says:

    Well, how many of those 18M actually own a PC or smartphone? maybe half?

    And how many of that half are facing their PC or smartphone by the time christmas eve arrives? maybe 1/3?

    If that’s the case, telcos ONLY lost 3M (1 peso per txt) in Christmas eve. (You can’t multiply it by 10 or 20 since those “fb friends” are part of that number)

    this topic is irrelevant


  17. yuga says:

    @manong – you only send 1 SMS greeting last Christmas? No friends or relatives here?

    Ok, back to topic. I’ve had insider info from CPs that they had significantly lower revenues during Christmas and New Year since last year compared to previous years. And that time, there were only 5M Filipinos in FB.

  18. TwIsTeD_Rubz says:

    I’d like to add to the argument that telcos are probably losing from FB and twitter. Birthday greetings alone are proof. Compared to 3 years ago, I got a lot more texts than friendster (yes, friendster) greetings (parang handful lang ata greetings ko from friendster. ). A year ago, it was more or less 1/2 and 1/2 from facebook and through SMS. Now it’s more like 1/5 of the greetings came from SMS and the rest came from facebook. Imagine the loss they have everyday from this shift to sharing greetings through facebook/twitter.

  19. nimo23 says:

    Not only fb and twitter will make telcos losing an income but VOIP starts making them down.love this post sir abe.

    Thank you.
    How Poor Blogger like me start earning in Adsense?

  20. thekiller says:

    as always, you are such a certified troll!
    i bet you’ll never change!
    the calendar’s about to change but you can’t make yourself a change, eh?

    come on, 2011’s about to come so you better change or everybody will HATE you! i bet you did not have any relatives that’s why you spend your frustration in trolling over the internet. what a child’s play, huh? guys like you always got a jacked up notion of fair play and that’ll never change because you’re a troll after all. your bashful words interest us not.

    and where the hell did you get your informations, manong? wikipedia?

    don’t you ever make some mess with sir yuga because you’ll be in the dumps after all.

  21. thekiller says:

    get lost, troll!
    the internet is not the place for the likes of you!
    go find an appropriate place where you can do all of your trolling!

  22. MagicBox.PH says:

    raymond is correct. to add to his argument. telcos are now shifting to IP networks by phasing out their old exchages. their telephony system is now using SIP, an IP protocol.

    toll calls are much cheaper via SIP – at least by 70%. one telco i know is now 100% SIP in their nationwide network. remember, savings = revenue, right? so they’re not losing.

    finally, each subscriber line in the new system provides both voice and data. so, telcos want all consumers to subscribe broadband to recover their investment. as long as they earn P999/month, they don’t mind if SMS traffic drops.

  23. pinoyblognet says:

    I think to suggest telcos make connect to FB and and twitter.

  24. kyle says:

    oras na para bumaba ang rate ng mobile internet hehehehe

  25. I used only 10 php on my load for the every week. I don’t use my mobile phone anymore for texting or calling. Instead, I use Skype, Nimbuzz (Yahoo & MSN), G.Chat, FB, and Twitter that is connected on a WiFi.

  26. Jane says:

    I actually posted this before Christmas on two social network sites: “With Facebook and Twitter, who needs unlimited texting?” And friends who replied seemed to indicate they were going SNS over SMS. Actually, I did not subscribe to unlimited texting this Christmas (which they did away with anyways) and most likely won’t for New Year too.

  27. jadeemon says:

    i used facebook over sms to send greetings this christmas,, because i cannot register to unlitxt and sms traffic ,, and with fb i can use “tag ” to share extra photos to make my greetings more heart felt…

  28. Abiel says:

    The problem for telcos is that they maintain the system for all services like voice, SMS and Internet. If a user only uses voice they telcos loses the money that they spent on the SMS and Internet side.

    So if people uses all services that’s the revenue for telcos. Since people are using the sms and most probably the voice service just uses the Internet, then telcos could be facing some financial problem down the line.

  29. Carlo says:

    Still sent out xmas sms greetings… had plenty of free sms’s, might as well use them all. :)

  30. gg says:

    pero malaki pa rin naman ang cater market ng sms. not everyone has an instant access to internet, like pc/laptop or smartphone. marami parin ang preferred ang sms kasi parng instant, real time at personal.

    but i use fb kasi mas masaya, interactive (lahat ng friends pedeng magcomment-an sa isang posts) at madaling i access in my part.

  31. Khmer says:

    yup..i think there losing..anyway..i only texted 2 friends of mined.I did greet them on facebook. Much easier than texting. I also think that the telcos must upgrade there services. They still sucks..

  32. John says:

    good question. i also noticed that network traffic was low last christmas – i was able to easily send/ receive SMS. by next holiday season, wala nang mauunang bumati ng 24th “to avoid network traffic”.

  33. Roy says:

    If telcos are losing money over to FB and Twitter, the next question would be up until when will supporting SMS over telco networks be profitable? Even if they cut down the rates for sms, if operating the sms service becomes an expense rather than make money from it, I see the sms service going the way of pagers.

  34. Jeric says:

    yes, so far i only did my greetings in FB except for those people who texted me personally and i did replied back, in the end, i still appreciate those who texted me coz mostly they are the ones close to me.

  35. Boy Sibuyas says:

    sms is now a dinosaur!
    ever since my friends created a facebook account, they stopped from sending sms.

  36. MagicBox.PH says:

    giant telcos now carry their traffic – voice, data, SMS, video (don’t 4get), etc. via their NGN (IP-based) network. it’s all Internet! they’re not maintaining separate facilities for each service. how can they lose? the real losers in this race are the small telcos.

  37. Boy Sibuyas says:

    sending an sms to a relative will make them say “what the hell are you doing? facebook is there, so why bother to send an ancient sms message?”

  38. Norman says:

    I think SMS is not that old, maybe we’ve just found alternatives (fb & twitter). SMS still very useful today. I think sending message on friends’ wall aren’t enough because some can’t accesss in Internet always.

  39. Boy Sibuyas says:

    SMS is getting old because there always nothing new about it. SMS will always be text-based that’s why it’s getting old. Seriously, i’m already tired of SMS since it’s just text-based meaning you cannot interact with it.

    Internet is always new even though it existed years ago. Why? There are always a new thing you can find across the internet. From pictures, videos, games, applications and even more interactive content, the internet is always a fresh place to be.

    Many people buy a new people not because of SMS anymore. People nowadays are also using their mobile phone to browse the internet. Ever since, i got a smartphone, i never used it for SMS but for web browsing instead (i only use SMS to those people who only have access to an ordinary mobile).
    See, even mobile phones are now a tool to browse the internet.

  40. Essel Tolosa says:

    Even though I didn’t send out text greetings last christmas, Telcos still earn a lot of money from me. I tend to call rather than text. LOL

    And to add to the topic, telcos may be losing revenues from text messages during the christmas and new year, the revenues from the broadband connection is steadily increasing considering they (telcos) are the providers of such.

    Nevertheless, screw them especially Globe for the poor and rotten service their providing to their consumers!

  41. Bob says:

    Consider this, if you are registered to Globe’s UNLITXT service, it would only cost you P20, and you can send unlimited SMS for 24 hours.
    And again, the trend still remains — people send less SMS and using social networking sites like FB or Twitter as an alternative.

  42. wala says:

    hindi nyo n problema yan…haha
    py new year

  43. Andre says:

    question is how many users use their phone to access facebook or twitter?
    unlimited data charges is the way to go! :)

  44. thekiller says:

    sending sms is an old trend…
    social networking is a new trend…

    as you can see pcs get cheaper and more accessible thanks to those internet cafes and those who sell 2nd-hand pentium 4 computer…

  45. bong says:

    haha. SMS will stay as long as you can think of. Not everybody has fb account. And to think telcos are losing money I don’t think so. Maintaining the SMS center is very cheap and resources are going through the signalling (CCS7) required to establish a call/data anyway. Investment have been recovered the first day the operator fire up the SMSC so operators are just squeezing every drop of your penny. CAPEX are spent to leverage in data boom in the near future. Next time you realize you are spending more data connection now than sms/call before. And guess to whom your money burn to? To the same operator you hate now.

  46. Pao says:

    I think I only SMSed one person this holiday season, and that’s because she doesn’t have a Twitter of Facebook account. The rest, I greeted through social network sites.

  47. Well, I don’t have a Facebook or a Twitter account so that’s about that. :P Plus, I greet less than 5 people on holidays anyway. :P

  48. Derick says:

    i’d say they lost a lot of potential sales to people who use sns/net to connect to family/friends, however, i dont think they’re losing money. As majority of the people here in the phils, are still using sms.

    And there are lots of additional sales from data subscription.

  49. LEEMAR says:

    i used all of the above.

    fb and twitter.

  50. Kenneth says:

    One thing I can say about Smart is that they figured out a way to recoup some of the loses as a result of FB. At least in some cases. For example when you subscribe to Smart Unli 50 1day/unli internet surfing, if you fire off facebook in your browser, you get charged and additional 20pesos for accessing facebook, and you are automatically tagged/charged for unlifacebook20. niloko ka na nga ng smart, pinalilitaw ka pa na bobo, since you registered for unli surf already you are made to appear as having registered pa for unli facebook.

    Hi Yuga/Abe, just incase you know someone in Smart maybe they can fix this if it was an unintentinal bug to make more money.

    Thanks. Happy New Year!

  51. realjarley says:

    there is no way that telcos are losing money. they are gaining more… due to fb and twitter..

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