The difference between SMS vs MMS is SMS (text messaging) has a limited number of characters and in what it can do, while MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) gives you many more options.

SMS messages are used for sending short text messages with a limited number of characters and over a GSM network. On the other hand, MMS messages are used for sending messages that contain multimedia files such as audio, video, images, and text.

Although both of them are used to send messages to mobile devices, MMS was created later on because people wanted the ability to send more than just text messages. The main advantage of using MMS over SMS is that it gives you the ability to include multimedia files in your message.

Each type of massage has its advantages and disadvantages, but the two types are quite similar. MMS was designed to be an upgrade over SMS, so it’s only natural there are similarities and differences.

What is SMS?

what is Short Message Service

Short Message Service, otherwise known as text messaging or “SMS” messages, is a way of sending quick text messages to people worldwide via mobile phones (or other devices that support this type of technology).

These messages are limited to 160 characters (letters, numbers or symbols) and cannot contain special formatting. You can only include standard letters and numbers in your message.

For the receiving phone to recognize the message, all messages must be sent via 7-bit text. You cannot send international SMS messages from some countries due to carrier restrictions or limitations.

You can opt to include a subject when sending an SMS message, but it is not required – this is the only option for including additional content outside of your actual message. (What is SMS?)

Example of an SMS text message:

#1 “Hello there! How are you? This is just a test and I hope everything works out.”

#2 “Hi! This is Danny and I’m just sending out an SMS to see how the formatting works.”

#3 “This is the last text message and I’m hoping it shows up as intended. Hopefully you’re having a nice day!”

SMS messages are sometimes also referred to as “text messages”, but this isn’t accurate since you do not need to include any text in the message when sending an SMS.

What are the Statistics about SMS Marketing?

According to a study done by Merchant Warehouse (UK), about 53% of online marketers use SMS marketing to increase sales. About 80% of those surveyed who haven’t used it before believe SMS will change their business for the better, and about 70% of people surveyed believed that SMS could help them increase their turnover.

About 34 million texts are sent each day in Australia alone (or 11,493 per second), with almost 98% of people in the country willing to receive text messages from their preferred brands.

In the US, SMS marketing has become a $100 million industry and is continuously growing, with more than 6 billion text messages being sent each day.

SMS marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to boost online sales. SMS Marketing statistics also show this.

What are the Advantages of SMS?

There are many advantages of SMS messaging such as cost-efficiency, availability, and flexibility. These and many more make SMS messaging a major tool for businesses and marketers.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of using SMS.

  1. → It’s simple, easy-to-use and fast – you can have a campaign up and running in under 15 minutes.  People like it because it’s quick, and they can usually respond right away.
  1. → It’s personal – with an SMS message, you can easily communicate directly with your audience and customers, and they might be more willing to share their cell phone number than their email address.  Your message will also show up as a caller ID on the receiving phone.
  1. → It’s convenient – it can be sent to many different people at once without being limited by space.
  1. → It’s discreet – it can be used when you don’t want to give out your email address or personal cell phone number.  You can also easily send messages via SMS from an online account or website.
  1. → There is also evidence that people are more likely to open an SMS message than read an email.  According to the same Merchant Warehouse study, almost 90% of consumers would read a personal text from their favorite business over any other type of communication.

What is MMS?

What is multimedia messaging service

MMS stands for multimedia messaging service and is a popular choice for sending rich media via text messages.  This includes pictures, videos, or audio clips. MMS messaging is considered as an extension of SMS, so the same mobile carriers are generally used for sending and receiving messages.

The main difference between SMS vs MMS is that multimedia files can be included with MMS.  Both common image formats (.jpg, .gif), as well as video clips in .mp4 format, can be sent through an MMS message.

Examples of MMS Messages:

#1 “Hi! This is Danny and I’m just sending out an MMS to see how the formatting works.  I included a cute picture of my dog for you to see as well.”

#2 “Hi! This is Danny and I’m just sending out an MMS to see how the formatting works.  I included a video clip from my new YouTube video for you to see.”

#3 “Hey! Check out these photos from last night!”

What are the Statistics about MMS Marketing?

MMS marketing is also becoming an increasingly popular trend, with 9 out of 10 mobile users worldwide (that’s over 90%) able to receive MMS messages.

The main problem with SMS messaging is that it’s limited in space and can only hold 160 characters per message.  On the other hand, MMS messaging allows you to send text along with pictures, video, audio, and other media.  Not only that, but you can also include links to external web pages or promote your brand via QR codes.

About 180 million MMS messages are sent each day in the US, and up to 45% of people who regularly use mobile devices say they have shared a purchase based on something they saw in an MMS message.  Also, almost 50% of messages sent are opened within 3 minutes and 18 seconds after being received by the recipient.

What are the Advantages of Using MMS?

There are many advantages of using MMS for both businesses and individuals.

MMS messages can contain links to other web pages, videos, pictures and audio, which helps promote a business.  It also makes it easier to include an interactive image at a lower cost than traditional SMS marketing. It allows you to reach not only mobile customers but fixed-line customers.

Here are the best advantages of using MMS

  • #1.  Sending multimedia:

MMS messages can contain links to web pages, videos, pictures and audio, which helps promote a business.  It also makes it easier to include an interactive image at a lower cost than traditional SMS marketing. It allows you to reach not only mobile customers but fans and followers.

  • #2.  Reaching the fixed-line customers:

MMS marketing allows you to access a larger range of people, including those with a fixed-line at either home or work.  With the number of mobile and tablet computer users increasing each year, it’s also more likely that your customer base is spending much of their time online using these devices.

  • #3.  Interactive images:

MMS marketing allows you to easily add interactive images to your message that recipients can play with by sliding, tapping or touching the picture.  This could be a game, an application, or simply something the customer can interact with and engage with.  These are used everywhere, from TV ads to mobile marketing, and they are a great way to boost your customer engagement.  This type of message is more likely to be viewed by the recipient than other media or text-only messages.

  • #4.  Lower costs:

Using MMS for business can often be cheaper than SMS messaging because it allows interactive media in the message.  It also allows you to engage with your customers live, which isn’t possible through email or other types of online marketing.

  • #5.  Delivering important messages:

This type of communication is a great way for businesses and organizations that work with people in emergencies (such as the police or the army) to communicate with their customers quickly and effectively.  They can also use MMS marketing to provide important information about daily events, weather updates, or anything else within the community.

SMS vs MMS Comparison Table

Here is a comparative table of how SMS and MMS differ.

SMS (Short Message Service)MMS (Multimedia Message Service)
DefinitionA method used to send text messages over a cellular network.A method for sending text messages with multimedia content over a cellular network.
Multi-media SupportDoes not support multimediaSupports multimedia
CostCheaper to compared to MMS.Costlier compared to SMS.
User-baseHas a larger user-baseHas a smaller user-base
Lenght160 characters onlyUp to 1600 
LinksLinks can be included in the SMS message to direct to multi-mediaLinks and multimedia can be included directly in the MMS message
CompatabilityCompatible with all mobile devicesNot compatible to analog phones and older phone models

What are the Key Differences Between SMS vs MMS?

The difference between SMS and MMS is in the communication protocols and channels used to send the messages across senders and recipients.

MMS is an extension of the SMS service and allows multimedia messages to be sent between users.  It operates on top of the GSM Short Message Service (SMS) network, which effectively works similarly to text messaging.  

The difference with MMS is that not only can you send a text but also other media, including images, video and audio clips.  This is possible because MMS works over the Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) network.

Here are the major differences between SMS and MMS messages.

1.  Character and Space Limits

The biggest difference between SMS vs MMS messaging is the number of characters included in each message.  SMS messages have a limit of 160 characters, whereas MMS messages can include as many files as you want.  If you’re using an Android device or any other phone that can receive MMS messages, tap the message to see more options.

What Happens if an SMS Exceeds the 160 Character Limit?

If you’re sending SMS messages and decide to write more than 160 characters, then the phone will break up your message into several parts.  The receiver won’t be able to view it until all of these separate parts have been received.

Some older models of phones may also receive your SMS in several individual messages and it will be up to the receiver to make sense of it.

2.  Possibility of Sending Media

The second biggest difference is that MMS messaging allows you to attach media files to your text, while SMS does not.  MMS messages can include audio clips, video clips, pictures and link previews.

3.  Cost Differences

The difference in cost between SMS vs MMS messaging is that using an SMS message usually costs cheaper compared to using MMS.  For SMS, you will use your mobile plan’s regular allocation to send messages. While for MMS, you may need data to send out multimedia messages. If your phone plan does not cover this, it may incur additional charges on your monthly bills.

4.  Device Compatibility

Another difference between SMS vs MMS is that MMS messages can be read on any device, regardless of whether they are mobile phones or computers.  SMS messages are only sent to other mobile devices or cell phones and can only be opened on these devices.

5.  Sending Methods

The final difference is how you send MMS messages.  Most phones allow you to attach a file or text description and send it directly from your phone, but you can also email them to yourself and open them on your mobile device using a mobile browser.

When Should You Use SMS Messages?

You should use SMS Messages if you want to reach as many people as possible.  SMS messages are sent directly to a mobile phone, so the likelihood that your audience will receive them is high.  

SMS messages are ideal for businesses or organizations that want to reach a very wide audience.  For example, text alerts are sent to every phone in the local area when severe weather is approaching.  This type of message may not be available on MMS plans, and it’s more effective than an email if you want to reach many people quickly.

When Should You Use MMS Messages?

You should use MMS messages if you want more engagement from your customers or if you want to include interactive images in your marketing campaign.  MMS messages are similar to email, but they can include pictures, videos and more on compatible phones.

The best way to use MMS messaging is through online marketing campaigns set up by businesses or organizations that want to bring people together in a virtual space.  For example, you could create an MMS-compatible game where each person must download the content from a link in an MMS message so they can participate.

It’s also possible to use MMS-compatible websites which allow people to log in and chat through their phones.  This is a great way for companies to reach more customers, as it brings them all onto one website, where

If your customers must receive the media in an MMS message, you should send it through this channel. 

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