MMS vs. SMS: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging service, whereas SMS stands for Short Messaging service. Multimedia messages contain multimedia files in the messages and can be sent from source to the destination. A person can attach pictures, musical files, audios and even videos with a multimedia message and can be sent on the cellular data connection. On the other hand, SMS is the most famous and revolutionary kind of text message service that enables the user to send and receive text messages all around the world using cellular data network connection. Only written text and symbols or emoji can be sent as SMS. MMS is also more commonly referred as a picture message.

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Comparison Chart

MMS SMS
Abbreviated As Multimedia Messaging Service. Short Messaging service.
Specificity MMS are used to send multimedia files attaching with a message such as pictures, music, audio, and video. SMS is used for sending text-based messages including symbols and emoji.
Transmission First, the sender sends message attaching media that messages are received at message center, message center than via the internet forward those messages to the destination. In the transmission of SMS, message centers are completely responsible for receiving and transmitting text-based SMS.
Size Limit No limit as such. 160 character limit in a particular message, can differ by the network and geographical area.
Congestion MMS does possess congestion but quite minor as compared to SMS as it is passed over a data network. SMS can often suffer from severe connection as it is transmitted via GSM cellular network technology.
Challenges Low ended cellular devices and phones, content adaption, spamming, etc. Spamming and spoofing, poor weather condition, the poor connection established, etc.
Usage MMS is used by more than $1.3 billion of active users according to the stats of 2010. SMS is used by more than $4.3 trillion of active users all around the globe according to the similar stats of 2010.
Modern Form Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and various many other apps. Instant messages, chat rooms, chatting apps, chatting services, etc.
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What is MMS?

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging service. It is cellular data network based messaging service that was introduced in 1984 initially and was based on the concept of SMS. It was not successful at its introduction due to lack of internet speed and technology and high ended cellular and smartphones. Later on, as the technology leaped forwards, MMS were widely used for sending multimedia files along with the text via a cellular data network. The users can attach pictures, musical files, audios and even videos with the MMS and can send it to any destination that is capable of receiving the MMS.

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What is SMS?

SMS stands for Short Messaging service. SMS is the revolutionary text messaging service that was introduced in the 1980s. It is GSM based service. SMS is the simplest form of transmitting text-based messages all along the cellular network connection without having any link with the internet. The users can only send text, symbols, and some emoji as SMS. Nowadays almost every second person in this world if considered according to stat do possess a cellular phone. From all of them according to the survey in 2010 80% of them surely use the short messaging service to communicate. In 2010 there were more than $4.2 trillion active users who send and communicate via SMS. Cellular companies generate a record revenue of more than $81 billion in the year of 2010. In 2014 there was a new kind of marketing trend was introduced which got huge appreciation and wide acceptance all around the world. It was named as mobile marketing, in which cellular text messaging service was used to send messages to the clients and customers in bulk. At the end of 2014, this global marketing business became gigantic and valued more than $100 billion. The marketing service shared the overall revenue generated by the SMS service, and 50% of the total revenue was because of mobile marketing. SMS transmission depends on the strong network connection of the cellular networks that work along and communicate worldwide. A simple process transmits text messages using short messaging service. The sender sends the typed text message containing text and symbols is first received by the message center, the message center than allocate the address of the destination to the text messages and then it is forwarded to the destination where receiver receives it. It is a fast process and can cause delay or lagging effect due to any issues with the message center, or distortion is the network. The SMS can be failed at the message centers and are unable to send, they are resending automatically by message center or can show a notification to the user that message is not sent please send it again. Currently, instant messaging services like Whatsapp and various others have quite overcome the overall role of SMS and are taking its place for sure.

MMS vs. SMS

  • MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging
  • SMS stands for Short Messaging
  • SMS is used to send text messages only.
  • MMS is used to send pictures, audio and video based multimedia files.

Explanatory Video

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