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The end of voice-mail? Huge decline in the number of people bothering to listen when somebody leaves a message

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By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 11:33 EST, 4 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:10 EST, 4 September 2012


Growing numbers of people are losing patience with voice-mail and would rather send a text message than leave or listen to their messages.

Voice-mail once helped revolutionize how people communicate, but is now the latest victim of technology's ceaseless pursuit of efficiency as instant chat services grow in popularity.

According to internet phone company Vonage, the number of voice-mail messages left on user accounts was down 8% in July from a year ago.

The end for voice-mail? Growing numbers of people prefer to text rather than leave a message

The end for voice-mail? Growing numbers of people prefer to text rather than leave a message

Checking one's voice-mail seems to be an even a bigger chore as retrieved messages fell 14% among Vonage users over the same period.

"They hate the whole voice-mail introduction, prompts, having to listen to them in chronological order," said Michael Tempora, senior vice president of product management at Vonage.

He told USA TODAY that one response by the company to this trend is a new voice-mail transcription service that converts voice messages for delivery as e-mail or text.

The service also e-mails a direct link to the voice-mail audio file, letting users bypass several steps to listen to it. "Voice transcription isn't perfect," said Tempora. "But they understand who called and what the message is about."

You've got mail: Growing numbers of people would rather send a text message than leave or listen to their voice-mail

You've got mail: Growing numbers of people would rather send a text message than leave or listen to their voice-mail

As with most declining technology, the exodus is led by younger, more impatient users who are quicker to embrace alternatives and are more comfortable juggling services such as texting, chat app WhatsApp and Google Voice.

A report published by the Pew Internet & American Life project in March, concluded that among U.S. teens aged 12 to 17, text-based communication is on the rise and real-time phone usage is declining.

Wireless carriers are offering more unlimited voice minute deals as people use their phones less for talking.

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