In school, I learned about a European carrier effort called Joyn, which is a text messaging replacement app. It works just like text messaging except it uses data instead of the SMS protocol. Why are the carriers themselves doing this? People are ditching texting for data apps that do the same thing because the apps are free vs SMS which is paid. Joyn is also free but the Euro carriers can at least improve the experience and maybe sell add-on services such as video calling and maybe international calling over data. I'm not sure what stage they're at in Europe but there's already a demo app. So the question/idea: What do you think of Verizon / AT&T et al doing the same thing here? Would you switch to it from your current app of choice if the carriers here provided a built-in free SMS app tied to your phone number? The advantages: - no more asking your friends to install the same app you use, or getting a separate number just for free texting! It would be built-in to your phone and your number just like SMS today. By the same token, lesser need to maintain multiple apps. - quality control: some apps I use on my Android have huge delays; carriers are better positioned to maintain quality of service The disadvantages: - getting people to do/learn something different? General thoughts are welcome as well!