sms, SMS Marketing, Tips


You probably send text messages daily, but you still might not be able to answer the question: “What is SMS?” In short, SMS is simply an abbreviation for Short Message Service, or another name for a text message. You might be doubly confused when it comes to understanding the difference between SMS vs MMS. These two terms are used interchangeably but actually refer to different types of messaging. The simplest way to understand the difference is that SMS refers to text messages, while MMS refers to messages with a picture or video. Understanding the breakdown of SMS vs MMS messages and their differences will give you more insight into how to best connect with your customers, as well as which mass text messaging service is best for your business.

What is SMS?

Let’s start with the definition what SMS is. What is the difference between a text message and an SMS message? Well, an SMS is a text message. SMS was developed in the 1980s and is one of the oldest texting technologies. It’s also the most widely used, despite a growing number of alternate ways to communicate. While you might refer to a variety of different message types as simply a “text” in your daily life, however, the difference is that an SMS message contains only text (no pictures or videos) and is limited to 160 characters. For example, technically iMessages aren’t text messages, even though most people usually refer to them as such.

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. You can think of it as an enhancement to the standard SMS message. You’ve probably guessed it by now, but the main difference between SMS and MMS is that you can send multimedia in your messages. This includes media such as videos, pictures, audio clips and GIFs, and more. Additionally, MMS allows for up to 1600 characters of text in your message — which is a considerable amount more than a standard SMS. MMS vs SMS: A Side-By-Side Comparison By now you’re probably already starting to understand what SMS is, especially since you probably send multiple SMS messages in your daily life. However, it might be easier to see what SMS is visually, especially since two pieces of similar content can look different when using SMS vs MMS messaging as a strategy. Even though the below image is based on an iPhone screen, when comparing SMS vs MMS, Android, iPhone, and other smartphones follow the same pattern.

Should I Use SMS vs MMS?

Now that you’ve answered “What is SMS?” and “What is MMS?” it’s time to decide which type of message is best for you. Choosing between SMS vs MMS requires you to understand what your end users are more likely to engage with and what your use case is. Do you need to communicate a quick message and have people follow a link? If so, SMS vs MMS may be the right choice. If you’re looking to really grab their attention, can afford the additional cost, and need to show them something visually, MMS vs SMS is the way to go. Ultimately, what’s most important is measuring your results and making adjustments to fine-tune your strategy and get the best ROI possible. Most Usms-gh users will send a mix of SMS and MMS messages to balance their costs and engagement.

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