How we connect with businesses and each other has altered significantly as a result of mobile messaging. Different mobile message formats meet different communication requirements. These are the six main categories:

SMS (Short Message Service)

One of the most popular mobile texting formats is SMS, or a short message service. It is the process of transmitting 160-character text messages using cellular networks. Originally imposed by technical limitations, this character limit has evolved into a distinctive characteristic of SMS communication.

SMS is a popular method of private communication between coworkers, friends, and family. Businesses also use SMS extensively for transactional notifications, marketing, and customer support. Retail businesses, for example, frequently send SMS notifications for order confirmations, delivery updates, and special offers.

Because SMS is straightforward, dependable, and works with nearly all mobile devices, it continues to be widely used even in the face of the emergence of competing messaging services. Furthermore, SMS is affordable for both individuals and companies, frequently coming with unlimited texting options.

MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service)

By enabling users to communicate multimedia files in addition to text messages, MMS, or Multimedia Messaging Service, expands on SMS. MMS allows the attachment of images, videos, audio snippets, and other multimedia items in a single message, unlike SMS, which can only contain plain text.

MMS provides a more interesting and eye-catching method of communication. It is helpful for displaying product images in advertising campaigns or for sharing holiday pictures with pals. However, MMS messages usually take up more data bandwidth than SMS, which might mean higher bills for consumers without unlimited data plans. Sending MMS messages across networks or devices can potentially cause compatibility problems because not all devices support the same multimedia formats.

MMS is widely used by both consumers and enterprises in spite of these difficulties. MMS is utilized by event organizers to send multimedia invitations and updates and by businesses to communicate product photos and promotional offers to customers.

Messages sent instantly (online)

Instant messaging (IM), which allows for text-based interactions in real time, has completely changed mobile communication.

RCS (Rich Communication Services)

With capabilities like file sharing, group conversations, chatbots, and read receipts, RCS offer an enhanced messaging experience that embodies the subsequent progression of mobile messaging. Designed to replace SMS, RCS aims to provide users with a more dynamic and interesting texting experience.

The ability of RCS to provide richer multimedia material, including interactive buttons, high-resolution photos, movies, and audio clips, is one of its main advantages. In contrast to standard SMS, which can only contain plain text and simple media attachments, RCS gives users the ability to create dynamic and eye-catching messages.

RCS also supports more sophisticated messaging capabilities, such as typing indicators, delivery receipts, and real-time group chat, which is similar to the features offered by popular instant messaging applications. More immersive and interactive user conversations are made possible by this expanded feature set.

Push Notifications

Usually coming from mobile apps or websites, push notifications are brief messages sent to a user’s desktop browser or mobile device. In contrast to traditional messaging systems, push notifications appear as pop-up notifications on the device’s screen or as badges indicating unread messages, and users are not required to actively visit an app or website in order to get updates.

These alerts can inform users of new messages, events, upgrades, or promotions inside an app or website, among other things. Businesses commonly utilize them to entice customers back to their platforms, re-engage existing users, and deliver offers or information in real time.

There are various kinds of push notifications, each with different functions and informational densities:

Notifications for Banners: These fleeting messages, which provide quick facts or calls to action, appear at the top or bottom of the screen. They usually disappear within a few seconds, but the user has the option to expand or ignore them.

Badge Notifications: A numbered badge or other visual cue that appears on an application’s icon to indicate that there are new messages or notifications within the app is known as a badge notification. Users are able to quickly determine how many unread messages or notifications they have.

Alerts and Sounds: In order to grab the user’s attention, push notifications may include audible alerts or vibrations, especially for messages that are urgent or time-sensitive.

Businesses may utilize push notifications to interact with their audience, increase user retention, and improve conversion rates. However, in order to avoid coming across as obtrusive or spammy, businesses must use push notifications wisely and provide value to users.

In-App Messages

Messages that consumers get while actively using a mobile application are referred to as in-app messages. In-app messages are embedded directly into the app’s user interface and are only accessible while the user is interacting with it, in contrast to push notifications, which appear outside the app.

These messages serve a variety of functions, such as providing users within the app with recommendations, updates, and assistance. Depending on how the app is designed and how the user interacts with it, these could appear as pop-up notifications, banners, or interstitial messages.

When users are engaged during critical points in the app, like onboarding, checkout, or after completing a major action, in-app messages are very effective. They enable companies to send out customized messages based on user behaviour, tastes, or demographics, increasing the likelihood that a user will convert or stick around.

To encourage sales, an e-commerce app can, for example, display in-app messaging offering discounts or free delivery during the checkout process. Similarly, an application for productivity may offer users guides or instructions to help them make the most of the app’s capabilities.

Not only may in-app messages increase interaction and conversion, but they can also improve the user experience by providing relevant information or support when needed. Through the dissemination of pertinent and timely content, businesses may foster more robust relationships with their app users.

Chat Apps (e.g., WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger)

Chat apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Telegram, and Slack offer a variety of features tailored for different purposes. WhatsApp and Messenger focus on messaging, calls, and media sharing, with WhatsApp also offering a business version. WeChat integrates messaging with social networking and payment features, particularly popular in China. Telegram emphasizes privacy with encrypted chats and large group capabilities. Slack specializes in organized team communication with channel-based messaging and integrations.

Businesses utilize chat apps primarily for customer service, marketing, and internal communication. Customer service benefits from real-time responses and chatbot automation. Marketing teams use apps for targeted messaging and customer engagement. Internally, apps like Slack enhance team collaboration and project management efficiency.

Chat apps drive high engagement due to their immediacy and multimedia capabilities, allowing businesses to share various content formats. They are cost-effective alternatives to traditional customer service channels, offering analytics for insights into customer behavior. Global reach and ease of use make them invaluable tools for businesses aiming to connect with international audiences.


What is the most common form of messaging?

Do you mean those brief texts you send with your phone? That’s a short message service, or SMS, and it’s the most widely used digital communication method. It functions on almost all phones and is as dependable and easy to use as a good old workhorse of communications. You’re probably using SMS, whether you’re messaging a friend who lives down the street or your grandma who lives across the nation. It’s simple and hassle-free to do the task.

What are the different types of SMS?

SMS (Short Message Service) comes in various types, each with unique uses:

  1. Standard SMS: Regular text messages, up to 160 characters.
  2. MMS: Multimedia messages with images, audio, or video.
  3. A2P SMS: Business messages like OTPs, alerts, and promotions.

What’s the difference between MMS and SMS?

SMS and MMS are both messaging services, but they have key differences:


SMS: Text-only, up to 160 characters.   MMS: Multimedia content like images, videos, and longer texts.


SMS: Simple text communication.   MMS: Sharing photos, videos, and audio.


SMS: Usually cheaper, often included in text plans.  MMS: More expensive, may use data.

Why would someone use SMS instead of iMessage?

People might use SMS instead of iMessage for several reasons:

  1. Compatibility: SMS works on all phones, while iMessage is only for Apple devices.
  2. No Internet Needed: SMS doesn’t require an internet connection, while iMessage does.
  3. Reliability: SMS is more reliable in areas with weak or no internet.
  4. Cost: SMS doesn’t use data, which can be important for limited data plans.
  5. Simplicity: Some people prefer the simplicity and familiarity of SMS.