What is the Difference Between MMS and SMS Messages?

By Heather Kinn

Two immensely popular messaging formats are SMS and MMS, but what exactly do those letters mean? One is a simple text message, and the other is a message that allows for more characters and multimedia attachments.

SMS

SMS stands for Short Message Service. It is what people most commonly refer to as a text message.

Length

SMS messages are 160 characters in length, and they only contain text (words or numbers).

MMS

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. Multimedia refers to audio (such as a ringtone), pictures or video.

Length

MMS messages usually have 1000-character limits in addition to whatever file is being attached.

Considerations

Because of the rise in popularity, most cell carriers offer unlimited plans for SMS and MMS, but to avoid unexpected fees, users should check their individual plans to be certain they have not exceeded their data usage or allotted messages.