Twilio study: most consumers now want to use messaging to interact with businesses

Twilio, the developer-centric communications platform that successfully IPOed earlier this year, published a new study today about how consumers want to use tech to talk to businesses and brands. The study, which the market research firm Vanson Bourne performed for Twilio by surveying 6,000 consumers in Europe, Asia and North America, shows that nine out of ten consumers would like to be able to use messaging to talk to businesses. The majority of businesses, however, don’t yet have the infrastructure in place to do so right now.

Given that it’s Twilio’s bread and butter to provide this kind of infrastructure to businesses, it’s worth taking the results with a grain of salt, of course. What they do highlight, though, is that while consumers overall prefer messaging over face-to-face interactions with businesses (and millennials even more so), businesses haven’t quite caught up to this new world yet.


According to Twilio’s survey, for example, 66 percent of consumers now prefer to reach brand (or be reached by brands) though messaging apps. Which apps they want to use depends on geography, of course, given that the global messaging market remains fragmented, that’s no surprise. Globally, 47 percent of users prefer native text messages when communicating with brands, followed by Facebook Messenger (21 percent), Whatsapp (18 percent), LINE (6 percent), and Snapchat (2 percent).

What’s also interesting is that 85 percent of consumers surveyed here want to be able to not just get messages from brands but also be able to answer them using the same channels.

Because no survey is complete (or able to generate headlines) without some kind of sex question, consumers were also asked if they were more willing to give up sex or messaging. Ten percent said they would rather give up sex.