We are all familiar with the soft ding from your smartphone and the lock screen notification that follows. Texting is becoming a major form of communication with 75 percent of Millennial and Gen Z Americans preferring to text rather than call. Oftentimes frequent texters will wait for their phone to stop ringing so they can follow up with a text instead of answering a call. With so many users favoring texting over other forms of communication, you might be curious for more information on the topic.
What is the Meaning of Text Messaging?
Text messaging is a form of communication that takes place on a connected device, such as a mobile phone, laptop, or desktop. Users who take part in texting will compose and send messages consisting of alphanumeric characters and possibly multimedia content. Users then share back-and-forth communication via text messages.There are a few different types of text messaging.
SMS - Short Message Service is a text messaging service in which the messages are completely composed of alphanumeric characters.
MMS - As the name suggests, Multimedia Messaging Service, is used to send multimedia content. This could be pictures or videos.
iMessages - This form of texting happens exclusively on devices with an Apple operating system. This includes macOS, iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. If an iPhone user sends a text message to another iPhone user the message will display as blue on the device, signaling it is an iMessage. If a non-iPhone user sends a message to an iPhone user, the message will display on the iPhone as green to signal it is not an unencrypted MMS or SMS.
What Type of Communication is Text Messaging?
Texting is both a verbal and nonverbal form of communication. Verbal communication refers to both written and spoken words (i.e. SMS messages). Nonverbal communication encompasses everything else humans do to convey information without words (i.e. emojis, gifs, pictures, and videos). Texting as a form of communication can happen between two or more people. Two friends can text each other, communicating about a movie they just saw together. A group of friends and family can all communicate in a group text about plans for the weekend, with messages being collected into one thread for easy tracking. Because texting is widely used, it can feel very informal. Users often write texts as if they were speaking. Two friends texting won’t use perfect grammar. When texting a friend about the latest insights on a book you just read, it’s unlikely you’ll use a semicolon or an oxford comma.
How Has Text Messaging Changed Communication?
Sending text messages is one of the fastest-growing forms of communication. Sixty-eight percent of consumers text more than they talk on their smartphones. Texting offers a bit more freedom than talking on the phone. Users can receive a text message and spend time thinking before they reply. Or they can receive messages and respond to them later when they have the time. This asynchronous communication is very different from a phone call. With a call, people need to stop what they are doing to speak to the other person in real-time. With text messages, they can take their time to reply. Text messages can also be used by businesses to send reminders or marketing communications to their audience. Text messaging can be a powerful element of a marketing strategy. Businesses can also use it as a form of internal communication to share updates and critical information with their internal team.
Text message communication examples:
User to User – Two friends are messaging back and forth. Only two people are engaging in the messaging.
User to a Group of Users – A group of friends 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 text to a user to remind them of their appointment or share a coupon for a product.
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.
What Are the Benefits of Text Messages?
Text messages have high open rates, they are less disruptive to the recipient’s day, they create direct lines of communication, most users prefer texting to calling, and responding to a text message is typically very easy. Twilio, a leading customer engagement platform, reports:
SMS messages have a 98 percent open rate;
90 percent of SMS messages are read within three minutes; and