Texting has become a popular form of communication. It is low-pressure and quick, making it a favorite way to share information. Because texting is a major part of our daily lives it is easy to overlook the details. While texting is simple for the user it has many layers on the backend.
How Many Types of Messages Are There?
There are many types of text messages. Because most devices compile messages into an inbox you could assume all messages are the same type. In reality, there are three types of messages.Five Types of Messaging
Text messages are sent and received depending on the sender’s connection, the types of devices the sender and recipient are using, and the type of content being shared.
SMS (Short Message Service) limits senders to 160 characters per message. Longer messages are separated into segments of 160 characters each. SMS messages are composed of alphanumeric characters, including links.
MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) messaging is used to send multimedia files, such as photos, voice memos, videos, and gifs.
Device-Specific Text Messaging
RCS is an update to the SMS standard. It is supported on Android devices and is what powers functionality such as typing indicators, read receipts, and high res image support. Android has been pushing Apple to adopt the RCS standard.
iMessage is exclusive to Apple device users, providing a secure messaging experience between Apple devices. On an iPhone text messages are color coded. iMessages appear blue when you send a message to another Apple device user, and your friend’s reply will appear gray.
In-app messaging, or in-app notifications, appear for active users of a mobile app or digital experience. These messages can appear as badges or pop-up alerts when users open a mobile app.
Push notifications appear on a device’s lock screen and link the user to an installed mobile app or digital experience.
What Are Four Popular Types of Messages You Can Send With Smartphones?
Smartphones as with other devices have many methods of sending messages. When your smartphone alerts you of a new message it can be one of four types of messages:
SMS: SMS is a message containing alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers). These messages can include links.
MMS: MMS are messages containing some form of multimedia content. This could include images, videos, gifs, and voice memos.
Push Notifications: Messages that appear on a device’s lock screen. These messages are from a mobile app or digital experience installed on the device. The mobile app or digital experience does not need to be open for messages to be received.
In-app Messages: Messages that users can only read when they are actively using a mobile app or digital experience.
With each type of message brands have the opportunity to send personalized messages and alerts but there are significant differences between them. Next time you receive a message pay attention to how it was received by your device and what the content is. You can now identify which type of message you are receiving.
What Are Examples of a Message?
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of messaging and how they are displayed and received on your mobile device, let's get into the examples to see how cell phone messages are being used every day.
User to User – Two people are messaging back and forth. Only two people are engaging in the messaging.
User to a Group of Users – A group of people are communicating in one text thread. One message is sent to a collection of contacts at the same time and then collects responses in a single thread.
Business to User - A business could send a message to a user to remind them of their appointment or share an exclusive discount. Users must opt-in to receive text messages from brands.
Business to an Audience – A business could send a text to a group of employees to share company updates or notify customers of a new product. These messages appear as a private one-to-one text between the recipient and the business. These are not sent as a group text where everyone is able to see all recipients.
There are many different message styles that can be used both personally and professionally. Messaging is an important tool for brands to connect with their audience.
What Is SMS vs MMS Messages?
Two very common types of text messages are SMS and MMS messages. These text messages are used by brands to communicate to their customers as well as by friends discussing the new episode of Ted Lasso. As a reminder SMS are text based messages that can contain links. MMS messages incorporate a multimedia element. If your local soccer club sends a message to all of their coaches reminding them to sign up for the next season with a gif of Ted Lasso, this is an MMS message. If the club sends a message comprised only of text with a link to register this is an SMS. Messaging is a powerful tool for brands to connect with their audience. Learn more about why text messaging is a must-have channel.