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Forget the Christmas Post, this year it’s all about Season’s Tweetings!

  • A quarter of Brits will shun sending Christmas cards
  • 52% will use social media or messaging apps to spread their festive cheer
  • A third of over 65s are switching from the traditional post to a social post

According to new research by money transfer service WorldRemit, sending Christmas cards is a dying tradition with over a quarter (26%) of UK adults will not bother to put pen to paper this festive season and nearly two thirds (65%) admitting they send fewer cards than they did ten years ago. Instead, 52% say they wish their friends and relatives Merry Christmas via social media or messaging apps.

Facebook leads the way with 49% of people using the social network to spread their season’s greetings. WhatsApp comes in at second place with 21%, and it looks as though it’s not just the robins who are tweeting at this time of year, with 8% wishing their nearest and dearest the best of the season via Twitter.

Contrary to popular belief that it’s the ‘youth’ who are switching off Christmas cards, 34% of people over 65 now use social media or messaging apps to spread festive cheer. It has also been revealed that Londoners are the least likely to send cards with over a third (36%) confessing that they don’t plan on sending any.

For one in four people (26%) speed of communication is a big reason for this shift in tradition, but one in ten people also feel that social media allows them to add a personal touch that cards can’t offer – be that adding a photo to a message (39%), sharing a video (23%), or even sending a voice recording (19%) – let’s just hope it’s not too many karaoke versions of Jingle Bells!

Other factors adding to the decline of the Christmas card include:

  • Traditional post is too slow (26%)
  • Cost of sending cards (25%)
  • It’s seen as old fashioned (22%)
  • Digital greetings are more environmentally friendly (13%)

Etiquette expert, Grant Harold, says: “As times change, so do traditions, and the findings from this survey highlight how the desire for convenient and instant communication is touching every part of our lives – even at Christmas. As long as the message comes from the heart and shows that your loved ones are being thought about at this special time of year, it doesn’t matter what form the greeting comes in. The only scrooges this Christmas will be the ones who don’t send anything!”

Alix Murphy from WorldRemit, the digital money transfer service, says: “Just because something is sent digitally doesn’t mean it isn’t heartfelt. Last year, we saw our Mobile Money transfer rates more than double during the festive period with our users keen to send money home to ensure that even though they aren’t physically there, they are still part of the celebrations – big seasonal events such as Christmas, Diwali, and Ramadan are always times when we think of our families and want to be with them.”

The WorldRemit app and website let people send money or airtime straight from their smartphone, instead of having to travel to a money transfer agent. Those receiving money can collect the funds as Mobile Money, bank transfer, as cash pickup or as a mobile airtime top-up.

WorldRemit’s service is available to senders in 50 countries. It offers transfers to more than 125 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. WorldRemit customers send 500,000 transfers per month, up from 330,000 in January.

Note to editors

Further survey results include:

What social media platforms/messaging apps do you/will you use to send your Season’s Greetings?

  • Facebook – 49%
  • WhatsApp – 21%
  • iMessage/Text – 11%
  • Twitter – 8%
  • Video call e.g. Facetime/Skype – 6%
  • Instagram – 5%
  • Snapchat – 4%
  • LinkedIn – 2%
  • Other – 2%

Why do you use social media/messaging apps to wish friends and family Merry Christmas?

  • It’s a faster way to communicate – 26%
  • It’s more convenient – 25%
  • It’s the modern way to communicate with people – 22%
  • It’s cheaper than buying a card – 13%
  • Post is too expensive – 12%
  • It doesn’t require a trip to the post office/post box – 10%
  • It feels more personal – 10%
  • I worry a card will get lost in the post – 3%
  • Other – 6%