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What is Text Messaging?

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What is Text Messaging?

May 20, 2011

By Stefanie Mosca,
TMCnet Managing Editor

You may think you are already well-informed of what texting is, but there is actually much more to the offering than sending your friends a text message from your smartphone. Text Messaging is the exchange of short messages between fixed-line or wireless devices over a network. Although text messaging first started out as a short messaging service (SMS), it has expanded to include messages containing images, video and audio content.

Text messaging has become a primary form of communication with the evolution of mobile devices. Texting has become so popular in fact that statistics in the industry suggest that texting versus phone calls has risen 450 percent, indicating we have come to rely heavily on texting.

Short Message Services, or SMS text messaging, includes exactly what its name suggests; a short message of up to 160 characters. While SMS is by far the most widely used format for text messaging, utilized by 74 percent of all mobile phone subscribers, it probably offers the least amount of benefits.

MMS, or multimedia messaging service is an extension of an SMS text, which offers the core short code message in a longer format and can also include multimedia elements such as pictures, videos, audio files and text pages sent from a mobile device.

Both SMS and MMS get the job done, but with businesses looking to take advantage of all text messaging has to offer, there’s a new player in the game that takes text messaging to a whole other level.

Long Code text messaging includes voice, fax and SMS enabled features. Unlike SMS and MMS, long code can be used from a mobile device, landline, chat window, email, or web-based application. Long code can be deployed using either a customer’s existing phone number or by creating a new number.

It’s ironic that Long Code text messaging isn’t as widely publicized, particularly when it can provide such a vast array of benefits for industry and vertical businesses interested in incorporating advanced mobile communications that leverage text messaging for their employees and customers. 

Examples of verticals where businesses stand to gain benefit from the use of Long Codes includes Pharmacy for prescription refills and responses; Restaurants for ordering, customer surveys, reservations and waiting lists; Retail for orders, product knowledge, customer surveys, accounts,  Medical Services for appointment scheduling, reminders and the dispensing of information; and Service Focused Industries, including hospitality, entertainment and transportation. 

Stefanie Mosca is a Web editor for TMCnet. Previously she worked as a freelance copy editor for Digital Surgeons LLC. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University and a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New Haven. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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