Facebook Finds Messaging Can Strengthen Relationships

A study by Facebook Messenger has revealed digital messaging to be the fastest growing form of communication in the past two years.

The new report examined global attitudes toward communication, garnering thousands of responses from people in eight countries around the world about their communication habits (and not only on Facebook Messenger).

Messenger learned 80 per cent of adults and 91 per cent of teens send messages every day. The top growing channel is digital messaging with a 67 per cent increase in the past two years, followed by social media (48 per cent), email (47 per cent), video chat (47 per cent) and face-to-face (38 per cent) communication.

The survey tackled myths about mobile-mediated conversations too, finding the more two people communicate with another person through messages, the more they actually interact in-person.

Face-to-face conversations are also on the rise, with Americans reporting a 20 per cent boost of in-person interactions in the past two years, and Canadians seeing a seven per cent increase.

Facebook_Messenger Study

Think sidebar conversations are rude? Messenger learned these secret, nonverbal chats—usually carried out at social events and family gatherings—actual facilitate close relationships and promote intimacy. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they have regular sidebar conversations, with 62 per cent believing those conversations actually bring them closer to friends.

Chatting online or through social media isn’t cheapening the content of conversations. Those surveyed report having greater and more authentic conversations as different modes of communication increase—even if those conversations include GIFs and emojis.

Messenger found visual messaging is becoming a universal language, learning more than half of people surveyed have sent an emoji-only message and have responded to a message with only a GIF. These aren’t exclusive to the elusive millennials or Gen Zs. Seventy-even per cent of people over the age of 55 use emojis to communicate and more than half have used GIFs.