The Difference Between SMS and MMS

Sep 21, 2021

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In a world where people process images 60,000 times faster than words, it’s essential to understand the difference between SMS and MMS messaging for advertising. SMS contains text only and is limited to 160 characters. MMS incorporates images, gifs, and videos as well as text. Let’s break it down some more.

What is SMS Messaging? 

SMS is the abbreviation for Short Message Service. SMS is likely the type of messaging you’re most familiar with because it’s been around the longest. It was invented in the 1980s and is the messaging offered by all networks and devices (yes, even flip phones). These messages contain text only and are limited to 160 characters, including letters and numbers. 

What is MMS Messaging? 

MMS stands for Multimedia Message Service and is used to send and receive a message that includes an image, video, or audio file. MMS can also contain up to 5,000 characters and a subject line of up to five 20 characters. The maximum size that can be sent in an MMS depends on the provider and the device receiving the message. On average, 300 KB is the maximum size carriers can handle. 

SMS and MMS are both sent over a cellular network, which means you have to have a cellular provider to send or receive a message.

Which should you use?

SMS messages are perfect for short, conversational responses. For example, tracking an order, delivery status, or for customer service. MMS is useful for selling products, sending engaging content to subscribers, and any message that would be considered a marketing message. Why just text someone about a product or piece of information when you can show them!

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