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Sore thumbs? Text messaging declines in US for the first time, industry group says

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Americans are saying goodbye to text messaging, a wireless industry group says, as Internet-based applications such as Apple’s Messages are starting to taking over from what was once a cash cow for phone companies.

CTIA — The Wireless Association says Americans sent 2.2 trillion text messages last year, down 5 per cent from 2011. That’s still 19 text messages per person per day.

Text messages vaulted into the mainstream in 2007, despite often costing 10 cents each. Costs came down quickly as phone companies started selling monthly “bundles” of texts. Now, many phone companies give text messaging away for free as part of a plan that mainly meters data used. That has helped stave off mass migration to Internet chat applications and Facebook messaging, but texting is still declining in popularity.