What is MMS?

When talking to marketers, or indeed the wider public at large, the sheer mention of MMS often leads to a shrug of the shoulders, a blank stare or a return question like “What is MMS anyway?”

Most of us are familiar with the term SMS – stands for Short Message Service, or “text” ( “TXT”) message or, by extension “texting”.

For those of us that are not familiar with the term MMS, it is short for Multimedia Messaging Service. It may also be referred to as “picture messaging”, a “multimedia text” or even the shorter form “PXT” (picture text!).

Essentially MMS is an extension to SMS, which enables you to send multimedia content such as pictures, photos, audio or even video.

If you take a photo on your smartphone, select a friend from your address book and hit ‘Send’ essentially you are sending an MMS. Like SMS, it is one simplest and purist forms of mobile communication. All mobile phones are capable of receiving an MMS and the recipient does not need any special software or application in order to view your MMS message – it will automatically appear in their Inbox!

The previous example of sending a photo to a friend is often referred to as “peer-to-peer” or “person-to-person” (P2P) messaging between two individuals using their mobiles. When talking to marketers, or other businesses however they usually have a need to send MMS messages from a software application – this is sometimes referred to as “application-to-person” or A2P messaging.

An A2P messaging provider, or “MMS provider” such as ourselves here at Thirdscreen, have the ability to send messages “en masse” – Bulk MMS if you will; and typically this is one-to-many, such as a single marketing campaign to an entire customer database.

Tatango are a Bulk SMS and MMS provider based in Seattle, USA. They have put together a really useful blog post which talks about MMS marketing, explains what MMS stands for and goes into a lot more detail about how to send Bulk MMS messages in the U.S. along with the requirements and costs involved.

There are considerable differences between sending MMS in the USA and sending here in Australia, which I won’t go into detail in this article – however, the Tatango post is an interesting read nonetheless.

View the Tatango blog post here;

If you are an agency, reseller or SMS provider wanting to send wholesale MMS in Australia please contact us for more information and rates. To request a copy of our MMS API documentation, use our request page here.

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