A reader turned me onto an interesting Associated Press article that focused on the state of the free instant messaging/texting world and how much money carriers have been losing because of it. In 2011 alone, carriers saw a decrease in profits of around $14 billion dollars as consumers have moved onto Blackberry Messenger, iMessage, Google Talk and other services that can send messages using data instead. Before you feel too bad for them, know that they reportedly still took in an estimated $153 billion from text messages. A 9% decrease year-over-year is pretty massive though. Carriers are now looking to creating their own solutions on this front so that they can hopefully help save this particular cash cow industry before it’s gone for good. So this all got us wondering – how do you interact with friends and family? Through the dinosaur method text messaging or with a free instant messaging/texting service? *Note – We would include Google Voice in the “instant messaging” category since it’s free and is an alternative to standard text messaging. Text Message or Instant Messaging Service? Mostly traditional text messaging, some instant or free messaging services. Mostly instant or free messaging services, some traditional text messaging. Only traditional text messaging. Only instant or free text messaging. View Results Loading ... Cheers @kaufkin!