What is MMS Messaging? What You Need to Know | Syniverse

What is MMS Messaging? Everything You Need to Know About MMS Messages

Instant messaging apps and other communication technologies have gained popularity, but MMS remains highly relevant for enterprises. MMS messaging has the capability to send multimedia content such as images, audio files, and video. This makes it a valuable tool for marketing and communication for brands. In situations where rich content has a greater impact than plain text alone, MMS messaging proves to be a powerful solution.

What Is MMS Messaging?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, is a widely used method for sending messages with multimedia content between mobile devices. It builds on the capabilities of SMS (Short Message Service) by allowing the sharing of media like pictures, audio, video clips, and rich text alongside regular text messages. 

MMS messages usually rely on mobile networks, just like SMS messages. However, they need a higher data transfer capacity than regular SMS. People often choose MMS as a convenient way to share multimedia content directly through their phones without the need for separate messaging apps or platforms. However, user must enable MMS messaging on Android or iPhone smartphones to send and receive MMS messages. 

Users may also notice that MMS messaging on iPhone appear as green text bubbles because it is different from the iMessages that are send between two iPhone users.  

MMS Messaging Origin

The concept of SMS messaging came from Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert of the Franco-German GSM cooperation in 1984. SMS was developed using the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) infrastructure, which was originally designed for telephony.  

By leveraging existing signaling paths, SMS enabled messages to be transmitted even when there was no signaling traffic. MMS was created as an expansion of the SMS protocol to allow the transfer of multimedia content. It made its commercial debut in 2002, aligning with the advancements in mobile networks that facilitated data-rich services. 

MMS Messaging Use Cases

In the corporate space, MMS messaging has many applications to connect brands to their target customers. It’s an efficient communication tool to deliver notifications and engage with curated content. 

  • Direct Marketing Campaigns: Direct marketing through MMS messaging is still an effective strategy for businesses. They can send promotional messages, special offers, and discount codes directly to consumers’ mobile phones. MMS marketing is a targeted approach often results in higher conversion rates than other forms of digital advertising. 
  • Reminders for Services or Appointments: MMS messaging proves to be a valuable tool for service-based businesses. This enterprise messaging solution allows these businesses to send appointment reminders to their customers. This not only helps reduce no-shows but also serves as a channel for upselling additional services or products. 
  • Transactional and Promotional Messages: MMS messaging is a valuable tool that e-commerce companies can use for transactional notifications. These messages, such as order confirmations, shipping updates, and delivery notifications, serve the purpose of providing information to customers. However, they also play a significant role in enhancing the overall customer experience. Additionally, these MMS messages can include prompts that encourage customers to make additional purchases or provide feedback. 
  • Customer Support: By allowing the inclusion of visual aids, it offers an effective solution to expedite query resolution and troubleshooting. With MMS, support agents can provide step-by-step instructions, visual demonstrations, or even annotated images to assist customers in a more efficient and comprehensible manner. Customers can also send photos to customer support for troubleshooting products. 

SMS vs MMS Messaging

There are noticeable differences between SMS vs MMS messaging

  • Content Types: While SMS may be limited to text only, MMS empowers you to share a variety of media formats including images, videos (up to 40 seconds), links, and audio clips alongside your messages. 
  • Message Length: SMS messages have a limit of 160 characters, while MMS messages offer the advantage of accommodating longer messages due to their multimedia capabilities. 
  • Data Usage: SMS requires very little data as it only uses plain text. On the other hand, MMS requires more data to send multimedia content. 
  • Cost: Since SMS uses less data, it is a more cost-effective solution for communication. However, MMS messaging has a higher cost because more data is used to deliver messages. 
  • Compatibility: SMS can work on all types of mobile phones, even older models without advanced features. On the other hand, MMS requires smartphones or feature phones with MMS capabilities. The sender and receiver must have a data plan on a cellular network or network connection supporting MMS. However, with the rising number of smartphone network subscriptions, this isn’t much cause for concern.  

Deliver Multimedia Content to Customers

Brands need to go beyond text-based content to truly captivate their audience. Adding rich media such as sound clips or pictures can enhance customer experience. Branded content can create a more interactive and engaging messages. However, by incorporating personalized offers and promotions through various media formats, brands can effectively grab the attention of their target audience and provide them with a unique and memorable experience. 

( Sr Product Management Director - Carrier )

Nicole Fabry brings more than 20 years of digital product management and development experience to Syniverse in her role as Sr. Product Management Director for the company’s Carrier business unit. Over the course of her career, she has worked extensively throughout numerous companies within the telecom industry, including Nokia, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile. She also has career experience working across various verticals throughout the Enterprise space, including the financial sector with American Express, and the healthcare industry with Humana, CVS and Insignia Health. Nicole is passionate about digital technology and agile methodologies of development. She specializes in focusing on driving cross-functional collaboration to create a strategic vision with the end goal of leading teams that are centered on delivering business outcomes and creating delightful customer experiences.



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