People frequently ask us how SMS, MMS and Email text messaging compares to phone calls. They want to know the clear winner.
But the frustrating answer is… it depends.
It depends on your goals and objectives. When it comes to communicating with contacts and customers, every business or organization has different needs and expectations.
But the average of almost all of our communications are text-based. You’ve got email, SMS, MMS, RCS, iMessage, Google Messages, and OTTs like messaging apps. Smartphone owners population is rising day by day, it’s getting to 80% globally.
SMS stands for Short Messaging Service. It’s been around since the 1980’s, making it one of the oldest messaging technologies. People often refer to SMS as text messaging or texting. All SMS text messages are text-only. They travel across standard wireless carrier networks and get assembled as chunks of 160 characters.
MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. MMS is the standard way to send pictures, audio, video and other media files to and from mobile phones across cellular networks. Additionally, MMS means picture message, multimedia message and PXT. MMS allows you to send images and up to 1,600 character messages.
OTT stands for over-the-top messaging. OTT means sending and receiving content (data) over the internet, not standard carrier messaging networks. Over-the-top means the content provider or application is going “over the top” of existing internet services to deliver your message or content.
SMS and MMS What the Difference?
SMS and MMS both mean text messaging. SMS and MMS messages both get sent over the standard wireless cellular networks. They both require a text messaging plan from your wireless carrier and almost all mobile devices support both SMS and MMS.
The difference between SMS and MMS is that SMS is text-only. MMS are pictures, video, media, and text. It’s all about the type of content you can send. Because of the increased character length, MMS messages also tend to cost more than SMS messages.
(Short Messaging Service)
(Multimedia Messaging Service)
|Image support||n/a||Appears directly in message stream|
|Max character limit|
|160 characters||1,600 characters|
|Max character limit|
(text + image)
|Max file size limit||n/a||300-500 KB|
SMS vs. MMS Which One’s Best?
SMS and MMS are both central to a conversational messaging strategy. You’ll want to include both.
It’s always best to consider your goals and proper texting etiquette when crafting a text message campaign. Your audience and messaging should always drive what type of content you send.
So it’s really about understanding what kind of message your contacts and customers are more likely to engage with.
Is your message quick and informational or transactional with a link to a webpage? Then an SMS message is a more efficient and economic solution.
How define an OTT ?
We’ve established what SMS and MMS are and how they’re different. But there are other forms of text-based messaging services out there called OTTs.
OTT messaging services typically offer instant messaging and online chat services. They’re an alternative to carrier network SMS and MMS text messaging. WhatsApp is an example of an OTT. It replaces text messaging on your smartphone with its own app and its own messaging service.
Simply saying the OTT is a mix of sms and mms.
What Comes After SMS and MMS? Answer: RCS
RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. RCS is the new standard of messaging that will replace SMS and MMS as the default for all messaging.
RCS makes it fast and easy to send more information in a message. This means richer text features, high-resolution images and videos, and much more.
Starting in 2020, RCS will start expanding our day-to-day text messaging capabilities.