I look at my own usage. In the past six months, I’ve sent seven actual SMS message. Seven. All the rest of my short messages have been through either Beluga, GroupMe, the Google Voice app, or now Facebook Messenger. Each of these messages have been sent or received for free (they’re a just use a tiny amount of data you’re already paying for if your on 3G). This is the future.
I actually find it disappointing, because SMS, like email, worked on a specific set of protocols transmissible without trouble across ALL mobile platforms. We are rapidly running out of these solutions. I fear the future is full of walled gardens, with communications being isolated and contained and even outright owned by the people building platforms like, say, Facebook.
I do not welcome this future. I don't particularly like the cash cow carriers have made of SMS, either, but... $20 a month for all you can text beats the shit out of the $350 bill I once got for going over my voice and texting one terrible month at Macworld Expo.