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SMS vs. MMS: What is the difference?

SMS vs. MMS What is the Difference?

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Set up dinner plans for a large group over group messages. Send a funny GIF to a friend who is having a bad day. Share your new favorite song. Send out mass texts to update customers or community groups about new changes. Or simply let someone know you are thinking of them. Almost everybody uses instant messaging, or texting, to communicate. However, not many know what processes are in play when sending a simple text or a more complex multimedia file. Read on to understand more about SMS and MMS services. SMS vs MMS: which of these services will improve your communication and increase response and engagement?

SMS vs MMS: How Do They Differ?

What does SMS mean? Short Message Service (SMS) is a communication protocol that sends and receives text messages over cellular networks. In simple terms, SMS is instant messaging or texting between cellular phone numbers. Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), on the other hand, acts as an extension of SMS that allows sharing of multimedia content. Therefore, MMS lets users send pictures, audio, videos, GIFs, website links, and phone contacts. With such messaging services, you can send short and quick messages easily without any disruption.

Companies and start-ups are increasingly using business phone systems with SMS/MMS to increase customer engagement. SMS/MMS are quick and easy methods to reach customers as opposed to interrupting their day with calls. Additionally, mass texting apps allow businesses, managers, and other leaders to send out texts to a large group of people at a time. This is helpful when they need to send product updates, event reminders, promotions, etc.

Both messaging types are highly versatile and very useful. Often, used interchangeably, these terms are not the same. So, what is the difference between SMS and MMS?

Characters and Space

The main difference between SMS and MMS is the space available for the type of message being sent. SMS usually has a max of 160 characters and can only send words. Some phones and networks may support emojis, but not all of them do. This means that each text needs to be straight-forward and to-the-point. Users must pay attention to the economy of words, doing their best to capture attention with the fewest words.

MMS, on the contrary, can have up to 1600 characters and has the additional benefit of sending multimedia files. You can send multiple files at a time, depending on their sizes. Users can use MMS’ capacity and space to share images, videos, and attract more attention.

Interactive Texting Experience

Texting, by default, makes communication quicker and more efficient as most texts are sent with the intent to get straight to the point. They enable people to be in touch with one another with little to no extra effort. MMS, however, adds more to this texting experience by allowing users to send a variety of media. You can send audio files, pictures, videos, and hilarious GIFs, stickers, or emojis. All of these little details make the texting experience more interactive.

SMS vs. MMS What is the Difference?
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SMS vs MMS in Business

When you consider SMS vs MMS, you will realize that both are great ways to market yourself and your products. Both methods are useful in keeping your customers engaged and staying on their radar. However, MMS does have an advantage here because humans are visually-inclined and having images draws more attention than just text. Because of MMS’ ability to share multimedia files, they are, naturally, more preferred. They can be used as a great marketing tool where businesses send promotional flyers and coupons to customers.

Cost of Use

Both work through a cellular network, however, MMS requires data or an internet connection to send larger and more complex files. This makes MMS slightly more expensive. Businesses with a tight budget may need to limit their MMS use. Individual users may opt for free web-based texting apps to reduce costs.

What To Include In Your Business Phone Service?

So, after considering SMS vs MMS and how one can use the two, it’s time to consider what your organization needs. However, the first step is to get a virtual business phone number. These numbers come with the added benefits of call forwarding, call recording, unlimited extensions, and more. United World Telecom’s SMS Forwarding feature automatically forwards texts sent to a business phone number to the desired email address. Use these for record-keeping or to study your target demographic. Sign up for a business phone number today with United World Telecom and improve communication between you and your customer.