New research predicts that 2014 will be the first year since their invention that the number of SMS text messages will decline in the UK.
Deloitte says that instant messaging (IM) services such as WhatsApp, WeChat and Apple's iMessage, will account for 50 billion messages sent globally per day. That's double the number of old-fashioned text messages that will be sent this year, it's predicted.
This market is almost moving faster than anyone can measure it: in 2012, just 11 IMs were sent for every text, globally.
Texts still make a lot of money for mobile companies, however, generating $40 billion in 2014 - that's 50 times more than anyone makes from IM services, which tend to be free. It won't be until 2018 that IMs start to make operators more money than texts.
The first Short Message Service (SMS) to be sent from a mobile in the UK was in 1992, by Vodafone engineer Neil Papworth (even though his phone didn't have a keyboard).