SMS vs MMS: A Detailed Review


Did you know that 23 billion text messages are sent daily, making for 8.4 trillion text messages yearly? According to a report by Neilson, text messaging is the most used data service in the world.  From 2012 to 2021, the number of text messages sent across the UK declined, probably due to the popularity of WhatsApp.

The first SMS (Short Messaging Service) text message was sent by UK Vodafone mobile network in December 1992. Till then, the popularity of SMS text messages grew dramatically and changed the face of communication. According to the report, SMS Marketing 2021, text messages are 20 times more engaging than emails. In another report by PCMag, 80% of smartphone users prefer receiving SMSs over calls or emails.

Here are a few interesting statistics that reflect how we’ve used messages on different platforms to keep in touch with our loved ones while transforming how we talk.

  SMS & MMS WhatsApp Facebook
Per Year 8.4 trillion 18.25 trillion 18.25 trillion 1.8 trillion
Per Month 690 billion 1.5 trillion 1.5 trillion 150 billion
Per Day 23 billion 50 billion 50 billion 5 billion
Per Hour 958 million 2.1 billion 2.1 billion 208 million
Per Minute 16 million 34.7 million 34.7 million 3.5 million
Per Second 270 thousand 578 thousand 578 thousand 2 thousand


What’s the Difference Between SMS vs MMS?

SMS and MMS require a mobile data network with a cellular plan to send and receive messages. SMS and MMS differ in terms of capabilities, size comparison, and affordability. In the case of SMS, only written text messages are sent; however, in MMS, you can send photos, texts, audio, and videos. While SMS is restricted to 160 characters only, you can use 5,000 characters (500kb of data) in MMS. It also includes 30 seconds of video. Also, SMS is less expensive as compared to MMS.

Both forms of messages are great in their own way. However, it is essential to understand the goal of sending an SMS or MMS. Find out whether you want to send information or a promotional message. If you want to promote your product with eye-catching images and graphics, MMS would be a great choice; however, if you want to reach more audiences and send bulk messages, an SMS is much cheaper and aptly fulfills the purpose!

What is SMS?

Developed in the 1980s, SMS or Short Message Service is a text message sent over a cellular network to another mobile device. The text has a minimum limit of 160 characters and can transfer data of 500kb. If the message is longer, it is split into two messages by the cellular network providers. Considered one of the best marketing channels to reach your target audience, SMSs have a high engagement rate. Here are a few instances where you would use an SMS-

What does SMS stand for?

SMS is an acronym for ‘Short Message Service’. It is the original form of messaging, developed in the 1980s. Unlike MMS, SMS is transmitted through cellular towers, servers, and controllers. Hence, doesn’t require internet protocol.

What happens if an SMS exceeds the 160-character limit?

SMS has a limit of 160 characters. If your message is longer than that, it is split into two messages for easy transmission. In this scenario, the larger message is sent with 153-character segments and the rest is sent in another message. For instance, if your message has 165 characters, the first message would be sent with the first 153 characters and the rest 12 characters would follow in the second SMS.

How popular is SMS?

SMS is a great way to reach your vast audience without burning a hole in your pocket with an enormous marketing budget! Although it originated in the 1980’s, the messaging service is still used for instructions, quick reminders, notifications, and follow-ups. Also, an SMS is an excellent option if you are dealing with an existing customer and want to send them quick updates!

How is SMS different from iMessage or WhatsApp?

Messages sent on WhatsApp or other apps, like Telegram or Facebook Messenger, require internet data; hence, they are called OTT (Over the Top). On the other hand, iMessages are messages sent from iPhone to iPhone. These are also defined as OTT as they require data. However, if Wi-Fi or mobile data is unavailable, these messages are sent as an SMS. The blue/green colour of the text bubble would help you determine whether it is an iMessage or an SMS.

Will SMS ever be replaced?

SMSs have exhibited great potential in tapping the masses, especially if you promote a product or maintain clear communication with your existing client. These are one of the best forms of business-to-person marketing messages. Marketers use SMS to support email marketing and communicate clearly with consumers to add a personal touch. SMS is a great means to guide online shoppers through two-way authentication messages, confirming orders, tracking deliveries, and more. With innumerable possibilities, SMSs are here to stay!

Interesting read: A Bried History of SMS – All you need to know 

What is MMS?

MMS is another form of messaging that evolved gradually with technological advancements. Multimedia Messaging Service(MMS), include images, audio, and video files, including website links and emojis. It was a popular option to reach out to people and create business opportunities to engage customers. A step ahead of the text messages, MMS included animated holiday messages, QR codes, or audio clips to extend the user experience and engage potential customers with a dynamic message. Here are five simple ways you can use MMS to boost your business growth-

  1. Use multimedia to improve the brand recall value among the customers.
  2. With longer messages, you can engage customers in conversations.
  3. Grab the attention of your potential customers with a catchy subject line.
  4. Higher scope of personalization.
  5. Powerful call-to-action with impressive event brochure, business tutorials, coupons, and passes.

What is the difference between SMS vs MMS full form?

SMS is a Short Message Service, and MMS is Multimedia Messaging Service. They are different in terms of capabilities, cost, and size comparison.
No, not all phones can send or receive an MMS. Only smartphones can receive MMS. Also, it is important to enable MMS on your cellular plan so that you can send and receive multimedia messages with emoticons and videos, etc.

What file types can I send with MMS?

MMS or Multimedia Message Service is a great way to take your marketing game a step ahead with the support of striking images, engaging audio files, gifs, pictures, etc. MMS can send a file of up to 5,000 characters, i.e., more information through infographics. Apart from this, you can use an MMS in different ways to promote your products and services by:- Running competitions
– Including QR code with messages
– Event invites
– Maps with directions-
– Food menu
– PDF screenshots

Can I send MMS messages in any country?

Yes, you can send MMS in any country with international roaming facilities on your phone. For this, you must choose a reliable, cost-efficient, and widest mobile network so that you don’t miss out on any business opportunity, even if you are traveling.
You can choose from different mobile plans offered by Talk Home and send MMS messages anywhere at blistering speed! The service provider offers affordable 5G plans with unlimited calls and messages along with flexible, no-contract international plans to suit all your needs. With faster data, unlimited calling, and messages, you can send MMS anywhere at super-fast speed.

Does it cost more to send an MMS?

Yes, an MMS is more expensive than an SMS, as almost 500kb of data is transferred while sending an MMS. However, various network providers may offer different plans that fall under your budget.  You can choose a suitable plan to send MMS without issues, depending on your goals and required outcomes. Remember, you can send messages highlighting your product and services, through an MMS. Therefore, investing in a cost-efficient mobile network plan would be a smart choice!

SMS vs MMS: A Side-By-Side Comparison

SMS and MMS are important means to communicate. Whether it is your loved ones or your clients, a thoughtful message changes the course of relation with them. However, the skill lies in understanding how to use this medium tactfully to communicate your idea. Here is side by side comparison of SMS vs MMS

Feature MMS SMS
Capability Send text, videos, photos, GIF images Send written text only
Size Limitation 5,000 characters 160 characters
Affordability More expensive Less expensive; great for bulk messages
Best Suitable For Long messages like audio/video clips Short messages like notifications, reminders, promotional offers, order confirmation
Compatibility Only smartphones can receive or send an MMS Can be sent/received on any phone


Pros and Cons of SMS


  • Short and crisp message with information
  • Can include photos and videos as links
  • Reduced costs
  • Don’t have to pay to receive a message


  • Limited character count, i.e., 160 characters
  • Cannot include Gifs, emojis, videos & audio files
  • Hard to grab customer’s attention due to the lack of multimedia
  • Less reliability as the customer might think the messages are fake

Pros and Cons of MMS


  • 1,600-character limit
  • Can include multimedia like Gifs, audio, video, emoticons, etc
  • More engaging; capture the audience’s attention
  • More chances that the message will be shared with others


  • Only smartphone users can send/receive an MMS
  • Might have to pay to receive an MMS (Not included in the phone plan of some clients)
  • Costly than an SMS
  • The message may get lost within catchy images and audio

Cost Differences Between SMS vs MMS

SMS and MMS are a part of the monthly plan offered by your network operator. Therefore, every cellular data provider offers different rates for sending an SMS or MMS. Depending on your region and the usage, you can zero in on a suitable monthly plan. Talk Home is a renowned name in the industry that offers monthly plans with a 5G network. The plans include 4GB, 8GB, 20GB, 50GB, 100GB, and 200GB data that offer unlimited calls and unlimited SMS. The best thing about the plans is that there is more data, high flexibility, and lower phone bills, as there are no hidden costs and unnecessary contracts.

You can choose between Pay as You Go and Monthly Plans and enjoy 2 times more data. Generally, the cost of an MMS is higher than that of an SMS. You can check out different mobile plans and choose as per your requirements.

SMS vs MMS Service on Talk Home Mobile

If you are looking for affordable monthly plans, here are a few plans by Talk Home that you can choose to get the full value for your money.

Talk Home (Monthly Plan) Data Minutes SMS Price Extra
Starter Plus 5G 4GB Unlimited Unlimited £5 Free EU roaming in selected countries
Basic Plus 5G 8GB Unlimited Unlimited £8 Free EU roaming in selected countries
Blue Plus 5G 20GB Unlimited Unlimited £10 Free EU roaming in selected countries & 2x data for the first month of purchase
Silver Plus 5G 50 GB Unlimited Unlimited £15 Free EU roaming in selected countries & 2x data for the first month of purchase
Gold Plus 5G 100 GB Unlimited Unlimited £20 Free EU roaming in selected countries & 2x data for the first month of purchase
Platinum Plus 5G 200 GB Unlimited Unlimited £35 Free EU roaming in selected countries


SMS and MMS have been effective channels to promote a brand’s growth while sharing important message dynamically. Until today, SMSs have taken the forefront when communicating information regarding orders, tracking details, reminders, or other notifications. On the other hand, MMS is engaging due to the audio-visual content, which is a plus point to capture the customer’s attention. If we compare SMS vs MMS, both have their pros and cons. However, you can make the best of them by using them effectively to run a successful marketing campaign.


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