What is SMS? How standard text messages are used, and how do they differ from MMS Messaging?

What is SMS? How standard text messages are used, and how do they differ from MMS Messaging?

Short Message Service: What Is It?

SMS (Short Message Service), also known as “text messaging,” is a service for sending short messages to mobile devices, such as cellular phones and smartphones, with a character limit of up to 160 (224 if using a 5-bit mode).

Even though you probably send texts daily, you might not know what an SMS is. Short message service, or SMS, is simply another term for text messages.

When it comes to knowing the distinction between SMS and MMS, you might be doubly perplexed. Although these two terms are frequently used interchangeably, they refer to various messaging formats. The distinction between SMS and MMS Messaging can be understood most simply by noting that SMS refers to text messages and MMS to messages that include images or videos.

The Use of SMS

In daily life, SMS is very prevalent. Whether you work a 9 to 5 job or you’re an avid gamer, messaging your friends, coworkers, and clients is a very relevant form of communication in 2022. The jargon used in SMS can be perplexing. It can be difficult to tell the difference between “failed to deliver” and “undelivered.” If you want to understand the distinctions between SMS status messages, take a look at the article we wrote on the subject.

SMS can be used for more than just texting loved ones and maintaining global connections. Let’s look at some of its many varied uses.

  • Interpersonal Messaging: We all anticipated this one: the SMS sender enters the recipient’s mobile number, types a message, and clicks “send.” After that, the recipient will get a notification and can respond using the same procedures. It’s an excellent way to stay in touch with people anywhere in the world, and the best part is that it’s instant.
  • Informational Provision: Daily texts about the news or the weather are sent out by many content providers. Reverse billing is typically used to pay for these services through subscriptions. You will be charged from your credit card or monthly phone plan.

What is MMS?

Multimedia Messaging Service is what MMS stands for. It can be viewed as an improvement to an SMS message. By now, you’ve probably guessed that sending multimedia with your messages is the primary distinction between SMS and MMS. This includes visual and audio content like GIFs, videos, and photos. Additionally, MMS allows you to send messages with up to 1600 characters of text, which is a significant increase over a typical SMS.

The Difference between SMS and MMS

The type of content you can send is the primary distinction between SMS and MMS messages. SMS only permits the use of plain text up to 160 characters. (You can send up to 306 characters using extended SMS.)

You can send up to 1,600 characters of text, GIFs, PDFs, videos, audio, and images using MMS. However, MMS messages typically cost more to send due to the increased character length.

TL;DR: MMS supports media such as pictures, videos, and audio in addition to 1,600 characters, whereas SMS only supports 160 characters.

These two terms are used most frequently in the phrases “SMS marketing” and “MMS marketing.”

Since images, videos, and audio use more data than plain text, sending multimedia content necessitates additional network infrastructure and device compatibility. Because of the additional infrastructure, SMS and MMS have different prices and sending capacities.

When is it better to use SMS than MMS?

Consider your campaign goals and the type of content you intend to send before deciding between MMS and SMS.

These are merely useful guidelines that can help you as you plan your messaging; there are no hard and fast rules.

Cases for SMS 

When “short and sweet” makes the most sense, we advise using SMS for messages. From order confirmations to urgent alerts, SMS is ideal for conveying crucial information.

In campaigns where you’re bringing contacts in using a keyword, SMS messages are also fantastic. A keyword is merely a brief word or phrase that people can text to your phone number to consent to receiving texts from you. Using SMS for your confirmation message can lower your costs if you anticipate adding a lot of new contacts.

You can use SMS when:

  • Reminders for appointments
  • Confirmations of orders
  • Updates on shipping and delivery
  • Two-factor identification (2FA)
  • Timely notifications
  • Customer feedback questionnaires
  • Notifications of policy changes
  • Password changes

Cases for MMS 

The majority of text-based promotions make good use of images, GIFs, or videos.

The explanation is straightforward: People who use visual communication to convey their message to an audience are more effective than those who rely solely on words.

An MMS can be sent when you want to:

  • Display your product
  • Introduce a mobile coupon
  • Your contacts are invited to an event.
  • Send greetings for a birthday or anniversary.
  • Hold a contest

Explore your options with Guni

Are you prepared to use SMS and MMS? If you have any questions, try the Guni Portal or get in touch with a Guni expert.