The Economist made the following tweet suggesting that WhatsApp was disrupting SMS.
This is totally the wrong way to look at things.
The better way is to consider messaging apps disrupting social networks and collaboration tools. That’s actually what’s discussed in the article.
In fact, what’s notable about messenging apps is not how the displaced SMS, but instead how slow Internet giants like Google and Facebook were to come up with their own versions.
As for SMS, well that was a consequence of carriers owning the network stack and the application stack. As soon as phones could access Internet protocols directly and build apps on that, hence uncoupling the network and the app layers, it’s days were numbered. SMS was disrupted by the mobile Internet. Similar things have happened with voice over IP, even from the Skype days.