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Jun 03, 2024
4 minutes read

SMS vs MMS - What is the difference?

There are many different ways to send text messages, and the various names and acronyms may start to feel daunting. In this blog, we'll tell you everything about SMS and MMS.

Text messages come in all shapes and sizes in the world of modern messaging. Acronyms like SMS, RCS, MMS, and OTT are thrown around online, and it can all seem a bit daunting and confusing. What are the differences between all these channels, and more importantly, which one would be a good fit for your business? In this blog, we'll discuss SMS vs MMS. Want to know more about the other channels? Read up on our other comparison blogs below.

What is SMS?

SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service. It's one of the oldest text messaging services, invented in the 1980s. SMS allows its users to send and receive short messages via mobile connection, with a 160 character limit per message. Typical for SMS text messages is the absence of rich media and fluff. The text message consist of plain text, with occasional links included.

There are no specific requirements needed to send SMS messages: a valid phone number and a service plan is enough. The SMS app is native on every mobile phone, which means that the infrastructure for SMS messages is already hard-wired into all mobile devices worldwide. With 5.1 billion mobile service users around the world (67% of the global population), SMS becomes a powerful tool for businesses to reach their audience.

What is MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. MMS is built on the same technology as SMS with one goal in mind: allowing SMS users to send multimedia content like its OTT (Over-The-Top) competitors such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Messaging. Unlike SMS, MMS messages can include photos, videos, audio, and GIFs as well as plain text. And the limit is increased - up to 1,600 characters or 300kb per message.

SMS for business use

SMS has many use cases for businesses. Besides its incredible reach (5.1 billion mobile service users) it also boasts impressive open rates of 98%! This makes SMS a powerful tool for A2P (application-to-person) customer engagement.

SMS notifications & updates

The high open rates make SMS a timely channel - perfect for sending out time-sensitive notifications, updates and alerts. Send information and updates via text messages to make sure that appointment and delivery times are top-of-mind for customers to prevent no-shows, or send out urgent information in the event of important updates or disturbances.

SMS marketing

Send out personalised offers and recommendations via text message to entice your customers to buy your products or services. You can include a link to a landing page or abandoned shopping cart to give your sales a boost.

SMS security

A huge and growing use case of SMS messaging involves security with one-time passwords (OTPs). Did you just register for a new account? Then chances are you'll receive a special code on your mobile phone to verify your new account. That code is your one-time password or OTP. SMS is one of the most reliable carriers of OTPs and is often used as the main, or fallback OTP channel.

CM.com is your SMS provider

Interested in SMS messaging for your business? CM.com offers a fast and reliable SMS messaging solution for business communication. Benefit from our Bulk SMS solutions with all the tools and features to enrich your messages and engage your customers. Offer your customers delivery notifications, booking confirmations, appointment reminders, OTPs, and much more, in a timely manner. Chat with one of our experts to discover all the possibilities or read more about our SMS solutions below.

Get started with SMS today

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Christel Brouwers
Copywriter at CM.com. Passionate about language and getting CM.com’s message out there. Shares content about CPaaS, Payments and more.

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