In today’s world, text messages surround us and everyone is very familiar with them, however, are you able to answer the question “What is SMS” if someone asks? Do you really know what’s the difference between SMS and MMS? This article will tell you the pros and cons of each of them and how you can choose them when doing your business. 



What is SMS?

The SMS is an abbreviation for Short Message Service, and it is the original method of texting. 

Although you may refer to various different message types as “text” in your daily life, SMS is actually a text message of up to 160 characters without any attached file. It was invented in the 1980s and is one of the oldest texting technologies, nonetheless, it is the most widespread and frequently used. 

What is MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, which is developed using the same technology as SMS to allow users to send a variety of content. For example, if you would like to send a picture, video, audio, or a website link, all these are considered as MMS. By sending MMS, you are allowed to send more than 160 characters and up to 1,600 characters. 

SMS vs. MMS: What Are the Differences?

Given the above definitions, if you are still confused about the differences between the two of them, the following section will introduce the key differences between SMS and MMS in detail. 

Media Supported

You can’t include any non-text related multimedia such as photos, audios, GIFs, videos, etc in an SMS. In contrast, you can send all these in an MMS message. 

Length of Messages

SMS messages are limited to 160 characters in length, or less if specific characters or emojis are included. By contrast,  MMS generally allows no more than 1,600 characters, which reduces the possibility of not breaking up your texts into several segments.


All cell phones can send and receive SMS messages. However, most, but not all cell phones can receive MMS messages. In this case, sending an MMS to a phone that is not supposed to receive MMS messages can cause deliverability issues.


Sending MMS costs more data, so they will definitely be more expensive than SMS. Depending on the recipient’s plan, they may also have to pay for receiving MMS messages. The difference in price is typically 1-2 cents, however, this can add up if you are using MMS to send numerous marketing campaigns or customer support. With Textr Team, you’ll never worry about overspending as its plan includes unlimited SMS and MMS messages, see pricing here

Pros and Cons of SMS and MMS

Once you understand SMS and MMS, knowing the advantages and drawbacks of each of them will help you better engage with your customers. Both of them are great ways to communicate with your customers, sometimes one may be better or more effective depending on the use case. 

Pros of SMS

  • You can keep the messages short and sweet with much less time and effort.
    It’s much cheaper to send than MMS.
  • You customers don’t have to pay to receive MMS messages since all types of phone are able to receive SMS texts.
Cons of SMS
  • It is very easy for you to run out of characters
  • You can’t include any multimedias like GIFs, emojis, pictures, videos, or audio files, which makes it harder for you to grab people's attention.
Pros of MMS
  • You can basically write whatever you want for marketing or any other purposes as long as you don't go over 1,600 characters.
  • You can incorporate multimedia, including GIFs, pictures, videos, audio, and emojis, which will make your messages much more engaging.

Cons of MMS

  • Not all customers will be able to receive the MMS messages, some may need to pay for it. For example, people who do not use smartphones may not receive MMS messages. 
  • Sending MMS costs more, and you may want to limit how often you will send MMS if your budget is limited.
  • If you want to send videos or graphics, you may need to create them by yourself or hire someone to do it.
  • The higher character limit makes it easier to create the content that is harder to read originally.

How Do You Choose Between SMS and MMS in Business? 

Now that you have understood SMS and MMS, then you will use it in different situations as they each have their own advantages. If you want to communicate quick reminders and follow-ups, SMS is the best choice.

For example, you can use SMS for:

  • Appointment reminders 
  • Orders confirmations
  • Tracking deliveries
  • Time-sensitive alerts
  • Customer support

SMS sends messages quicker and using it to send important or transactional texts can help you make sure all customers get the message. Some customers whose phones can’t receive MMS will miss some important messages if you choose to use MMS to send important information. 

By contrast, MMS is a good option for sending mass texts or lengthy messages if you want to better engage with your customers. Essentially, MMS is powerful when you leverage it for marketing campaigns since multimedia content is the best medium to grab people’s attention.

You can use it for:

  • Birthday cards or holiday messages
  • Discounts and coupons
  • New product introduction
  • Service announcements
  • Sales promotions

When you’re texting, it’s easy to switch between SMS and MMS. So it’s important for you to analyze your customer base and decide which one you will use. SMS is simple, cheap, and reliable, while MMS supports any multimedia contents you want to send. Leveraging these two types of texts will allow you to have the best interaction with your customers and then achieve your marketing goals. 

Textr Team is a text & call on one app that covers all your business communication needs . Without using your personal phone number, you’ll have unlimited SMS and MMS messaging and call minutes, so you won’t worry about overspending on MMS. Also, you can register an SMS campaign, segment your customers by tags and notes, set up IVR, and more. To get started, download Textr Team now and start your texting journey!

Should you have any further concerns, you may contact us by email