What Is SMS Text Messaging & How Do I Use It? | Community (2023)

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As the world has become increasingly connected through technology, there have been countless ways that people have learned to communicate. From the telegraph to the telephone to email, humanity has constantly been looking for new ways to communicate that are efficient, effective, and convenient. The world of communications technology is always shifting and evolving, and there are nearly constant innovations that help people become more connected.

One technology that has made a huge impact on the world of modern communication is SMS messaging. This is an incredible way to communicate with people easily while retaining a friendly real-time standard of interaction.

This is what SMS text messaging is and how it can impact how you communicate with the world.

What is SMS Text Messaging?

SMS stands for “Short Messaging Service.” It allows people to send text messages that are up to 160 characters long between a wide array of mobile devices and other communication technologies.

SMS was developed in the mid-1980s but has since become used in countless places in the modern world. As many as 98% of mobile devices are compatible with SMS messaging, making it one of the most universal and usable ways to use text messaging.

Even though the technology itself is old, there are still countless benefits and strengths that make SMS unique on text messaging standards today.

Incredible Speed

While SMS’s age might seem like a potential downside, it is extremely convenient in many areas. Modern data networks have improved their capabilities and speed since the inception of SMS, while the size and format of SMS messaging have remained virtually unchanged. Many SMS messages are as small as 140 Bytes. That means that they can be transmitted incredibly easily over modern data networks that are accustomed to working with messages with data sizes that are thousands or even millions of times the size of an SMS!

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High Reliability

Since SMS messages are so small, they only require a small fraction of the resources to transmit texts reliably. As long as there is even a small amount of data connection, SMS messages should be easily transmitted.

There are few places in the world where SMS messages wouldn’t be able to be transmitted simply due to the incredibly reliable interface of SMS messaging.


Due to the advancements of data networks and other texting technologies, SMS messaging is offered at a low cost. Many phone service providers offer a flat rate for an infinite amount of SMS sending and receiving.

While this is helpful personally, it allows for great cost savings for businesses using text messaging at an enterprise scale. You can now use platforms like Community to reach large audiences at scale with less investment than other methods of communication.

How Does SMS Messaging Differ From Other Kinds of Texting?

While SMS messaging is a very ubiquitous and commonly used medium of communication, it is not the only one on the market. People use numerous other text messaging mediums.

SMS messaging is very versatile, but it doesn’t cover every single kind of text messaging use. So it is important to understand how the different types of texting work.

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MMS Messaging vs. SMS Messaging

MMS messaging is a technology that is often used alongside SMS messaging, but it is functionally a little different. MMS stands for “Multimedia Messaging Service” and is used for sending and receiving pictures, audio, video, and text messages that are longer than 160 characters.

While these are definite plus sides in comparison to SMS, there are also downsides. MMS messaging requires cellular data networks to send text messages, which means that it is not quite as reliable to use compared to SMS.

It is more expensive to use and therefore costs more to companies that use MMS at a larger scale.

iMessage vs. SMS Messaging

Another kind of text messaging confused with SMS messaging is Apple’s iMessage application. This is a text messaging service that is only available among Apple products.

While it has many strengths in terms of convenience and features that are available, it has several downsides in comparison to SMS. You can only use it over Wi-Fi and cellular networks, so it is useless in less than ideal areas of the world. iMessage is also unable to send or receive text messages from Android or other types of phones.

It is an effective way to communicate within the Apple ecosystem, but it still has many disadvantages in modern use.

How is SMS Messaging Best Used?

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SMS messaging has a lot of places where you can use it effectively in the modern world. Even though it doesn’t have the most features, its sheer ability to communicate to a wide array of people in a massively versatile and stable way gives it a large edge in many circumstances.

Efficient Text Marketing

When companies are trying to find the most cost-effective and widely available services to reach out to their customers, SMS text marketing is often one of the best ways to do that.

Text marketing is one of the most effective ways to market to customers, with an open rate of upwards of 98%, while other forms of digital marketing barely reach a fraction of success.

It’s incredibly effective and efficient to send low-cost text messages to customers, and SMS messaging makes it possible for any company to have successful marketing campaigns, no matter how large or small.

Interaction with Members

SMS messaging is incredibly effective at cultivating genuine two-way interactions between Community Leader and their Members. SMS messaging provides a line of communication directly between two people, and it creates an avenue with which Leaders can directly engage with their Community in real-time.

Relationships are built upon real interactions, and relationships lead to genuine care from both sides. Gone are the days of sending impersonal marketing messages to your Members; Community provides a way to communicate and interact with your audience at large genuinely.

What are the Drawbacks of SMS Text Messaging?

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Even though SMS messaging is a beneficial and popular form of communication, it doesn't always fit every circumstance. The strengths of SMS often translate to its weaknesses, which results in people using another form of text messaging, such as MMS.

If your goal is to send multimedia messages to your audience or customers, SMS cannot do that. For multimedia, you will need MMS messaging or another texting service.

The lightweight nature of SMS texting means that while it is incredibly fast and versatile, it can’t send messages containing a lot of information. Even incredibly small photos and audio files will often be hundreds or even thousands of times the size of SMS’s maximum data size, which renders it unable to send any kind of media other than text.

If you need to send large amounts of text inside of one message, it’s probably a good idea to look into other forms of messaging, such as MMS texting or email. These other communication mediums fit more into one message than SMS, making them great for long-form communication.

However, it is still possible to send members a reminder message via SMS to check their emails for special messages when using an email! Being creative with your use of messaging allows higher open rates while still providing all of the length and content of a long-form message.


SMS messaging is one of the most ubiquitous forms of communication in the modern world, and for very good reason. It’s quick, efficient, and highly effective at communicating with people on personal and business levels while still being incredibly affordable and usable.

If you’re looking for the next step in developing interaction with members of your community on a personal level, check out Community for your next step in the right direction. A huge range of high-profile Community Leaders and companies are already using Community to interact directly with their followers at a previously unimaginable scale. Take a look, and get your number today!


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How do I use SMS text messages? ›

After you open a conversation, you can send it to a new contact at any time.
  1. Open the Messages app .
  2. Open a chat.
  3. Tap and hold a message.
  4. Tap More. Forward.
  5. Choose your contact.
  6. Tap Send .

How do you answer an SMS? ›

Reply to a chat message
  1. Open the Chat app or Gmail app .
  2. On the bottom, tap Chat or Spaces .
  3. Open a chat message or a space.
  4. If you're in a space, below the message, tap Reply .
  5. Enter your message or select a suggestion. You can customize a suggested message before you send it.
  6. Tap Send .

What is the difference between a SMS and a text message? ›

The first and biggest thing to know about the difference between SMS and text messages is that there is no difference. SMS, or Short Message Service, is a form of text message that's sent from one device to another.

What is SMS in simple words? ›

SMS stands for Short Message Service and is another name for a text message. An SMS is generally sent from one mobile device to another over the cellular network. SMS is a text-only standard first formalized in 1985 in the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) standards.

How do I activate SMS on my phone? ›

Open Settings . Click Apps. In the list of apps, click Messages. SMS.

How do I enable SMS on my phone? ›

Send and receive text messages (SMS & MMS)
  1. On your Android device, open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Network & internet. Mobile network.
  3. Make sure Mobile data is turned on.

Is it safe to reply to SMS? ›


Experts recommend you don't respond to texts from strangers — if nothing else, a scammer will know your phone number is active when you reply.

How do you start a text response? ›

Topic Sentence: Students should begin each of their paragraphs with a topic sentence. This sentence introduces the point that will serve as the main idea of the paragraph – the central riff if you like.

What do you do how to reply? ›

Make it a Teachable Moment

So instead of just saying your title, explain something he or she might not know about your work or industry. Talk about the void in the market that you are filling. Talk about the latest thing happening in your industry. Talk about the most interesting thing you've learned lately.

What happens when you send a SMS message? ›

When you send an SMS message, the message gets transmitted from the sending device to the nearest cell tower. That cell tower passes the message to an SMS center (SMSC). Then the SMSC forwards the SMS message to a cell tower near the receiving device. Lastly, that tower sends the message to the recipient's device.

Should I use SMS for texting? ›

Advantages to SMS

SMS messages are short and sweet. Because of the 160 character limit, they don't require a lot of time or energy. SMS messages are cheaper to send than MMS messages. Most carriers in the U.S. offer plans with unlimited texting, so there is likely no cost to your subscribers.

What is the purpose of sending SMS? ›

An SMS message is also called a text message. SMS or Short Message Service is the standard messaging service used on most mobile phones. It uses standardised communication protocols to send text messages between phones - it's low cost and ideal for businesses to use for sending short messages to clients.

Does SMS cost money? ›

While SMS text messages are free for users with unlimited texting phone plans, mobile carriers do charge customers who don't have unlimited texting or who send SMS messages outside of covered areas. Most carriers charge the same rate for both SMS and MMS messages.

What are the three types of SMS? ›

These include 1-way SMS, 2-way SMS, and conversational SMS.

How does a person know that he has got an SMS? ›

To turn Delivery Reports on Android, go to your Message app, tap the Menu icon (the three vertical dots), select Settings >> Text Messages then toggle Delivery Reports On or Off.

Why can't I get SMS on my phone? ›

Steps to follow when Android is not receiving text messages:

Clear the cache from your text app. Make sure your SIM card is inserted properly. Ensure your phone is not in Airplane Mode. Confirm that your carrier supports SMS and MMS messaging.

Where can I find SMS settings? ›

Text Message Notification Settings - Android™
  1. From the messaging app, tap the. ...
  2. Tap 'Settings' or 'Messaging' settings.
  3. If applicable, tap 'Notifications' or 'Notification settings'.
  4. Configure the following received notification options as preferred: ...
  5. Configure the following ringtone options:

Which app to use for SMS? ›

Google Messages

Previously known as Android Messages, the Messages app from Google is the company's official app for texting and RCS messages. It comes pre-installed on Google's Pixel series and select other phones, but other Android users can download it from Google Play.

What happens if I turn off SMS? ›

When you disable SMS, the iMessage system automatically takes over, and sends and receives messages using your cellular or Wi-Fi data connection.

Why can't I send SMS messages? ›

To fix an Android that won't send text messages, try restarting it or checking for updates. Check if you've been blocked by the recipient, or if your carrier is having network issues. You can also try clearing the messages cache or making sure your SIM card is installed properly.

Can someone hack your phone by replying to a text? ›

In a word: no. You can't get hacked by simply answering your phone. However, you can fall prey to “vishing”—which is the verbal equivalent of “phishing.” Here, again, the intent is to create a sense of urgency, so you do not have time to sit back and think.

Can someone hack your phone from a text? ›

Android phones can get infected by merely receiving a picture via text message, according to research published Monday. This is likely the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered.

Can your identity be stolen from a text message? ›

Scam artists often use email-to-text technology, short codes, or spoofed local numbers to hide their identity. You should contact any bank, government, agency, or company identified in the text message using the information listed in your records.

How do I start my first text conversation? ›

How to start a conversation over text
  1. Send an honest compliment. ...
  2. Make a reference to something that they mentioned. ...
  3. Let them know that you are thinking about them. ...
  4. The cliffhanger text. ...
  5. Send a GIF, meme or emoji. ...
  6. The teasing text. ...
  7. The light and casual text.
Dec 13, 2019

What is the best text to start a conversation? ›

How to start a conversation over text
  1. Re-introduce yourself. ...
  2. Continue a previous conversation. ...
  3. Mention something from a profile or post. ...
  4. Ask them for expert advice. ...
  5. Ask for their opinion of a celebrity's post. ...
  6. Send a text that piques their interest. ...
  7. Send a GIF, meme, or emoji. ...
  8. Say “thank you” for a recommendation.
Jan 26, 2022

How do you send a text message for the first time? ›

If you met on a dating app or in person, just send her a quick text with your name included. Keep it short and sweet, and don't send anything too long in your first message. Try something like: “Hey it's James from Tinder!”

How do you do a quick reply? ›

  1. Open a chat.
  2. Tap Attach > Quick Replies.
  3. Select the desired quick reply. The message will automatically appear in the text input field.
  4. Edit the message, or simply tap Send .

How are you reply in simple way? ›

Here are some example responses:
  1. I'm fine, thanks. How about you?
  2. Good, thanks. And you?
  3. I'm good. And yourself?
  4. Not bad. How are you?
  5. Fine, and you?
  6. I'm doing well, and you?
  7. Good, how about you?
Jan 5, 2021

How do you greet and answer? ›

How are you? Hey how's it going?
  1. Fine. This is a simple, straight answer. ...
  2. Not bad. This is a more friendly -sounding answer than “fine”.
  3. Fine, thanks. This answer is formal. ...
  4. Very well, thanks.
  5. Pretty good. If you don't care as much about grammar, you can answer “Good” or “Pretty good”. ...
  6. Great!

Why would someone use SMS instead of iMessage? ›

Chances are, you'll end up using both: iMessage with your iPhone friends and SMS messages with your Android friends. However, iMessage does use data, so if you are on a monthly data plan but have unlimited SMS text messages, you may want to stick with SMS.

Can someone receive my SMS messages? ›

Yes, it's definitely possible for someone to spy on your text messages and it's certainly something you should be aware of – this is a potential way for a hacker to gain a lot of private information about you – including accessing PIN codes sent by websites used to verify your identity (such as online banking).

What is the major benefit of SMS? ›

SMS provides simple and cost-effective way of communicating with customers, but the benefits go far beyond that. Which is exactly why it remains an essential part of communication and marketing strategies. SMS is a simple technology initially used to facilitate person-to-person (P2P) communication.

Do phones still use SMS? ›

Texts are quick, lightweight, reliable forms of communication between devices. While third-party messaging apps are used in various ways, the SMS and MMS texting standard is built into Android phones. Recently, Android phones have also begun to use Google messaging.

How do I use SMS instead of iMessage? ›

Go to your Settings app. Click on the Messages menu. Toggle the iMessage option off.

Why does my text say SMS instead of delivered? ›

There are a number of reasons why an SMS message might not get delivered, but some of the most common are: the recipient opted out of messages. the recipient blocked your phone number. the message contained illegal content.

How does a smartphone send SMS messages? ›

When a text message is written, it is transmitted as binary code using a particular frequency of radio waves specific to that user. The signal is received by a nearby cell tower, which then directs the information to be transmitted by another tower near the intended recipient.

What happens if I turn off SMS on iPhone? ›

When you disable SMS, the iMessage system automatically takes over, and sends and receives messages using your cellular or Wi-Fi data connection. To ensure you don't receive any text messages through SMS, you can also disable your cellular data connection to force your iPhone to use an available Wi-Fi network.

How to know if someone blocked you? ›

“The simplest way to tell if you have been blocked by an Android user is to call,” Lavelle says. Just like with an iPhone, listen for it to be diverted to voicemail or play you a pre-recorded message.

Does green text mean blocked? ›

If you see green bubbles, this means that your text messages are being sent through SMS, and they might have blocked you on iMessage. For example, if you send me a message and I receive it with a green bubble, this means that the message was sent through SMS rather than iMessage.

Whats happens when you text someone and the message doesn't say delivered? ›

When it doesn't say Delivered, it means the other person is texting someone else or on the phone. Once they stop texting or hang up the phone, you will see the text message has been delivered.

When a text says delivered has it been read? ›

One gray check mark means your message was successfully sent. Two gray check marks mean your message was successfully delivered to the recipient's phone. Two blue check marks mean the recipient has read your message (press and hold on the message to reveal the time it was read).

What is the difference between delivered and SMS in Android? ›

Sent: The mobile device has sent the SMS to the SMSC (Short message service center). And the SMSC has confirmed it has received the SMS. Delivered: The mobile device has received a SMS-DELIVER (Delivery Notification). Although delivered is a relative term in the SMS world.

Where do I find my SMS settings? ›

Text Message Notification Settings - Android™
  1. From the messaging app, tap the. ...
  2. Tap 'Settings' or 'Messaging' settings.
  3. If applicable, tap 'Notifications' or 'Notification settings'.
  4. Configure the following received notification options as preferred: ...
  5. Configure the following ringtone options:

Why can't I receive SMS Messages on my Android phone? ›

Fix problems sending or receiving messages

Make sure you have the most updated version of Messages. If you have a SIM card, ensure that it is inserted properly. If you're on Fi, sign in to the Project Fi app. Verify that Messages is set as your default texting app.

Do all phones have SMS messages? ›

And while OTT apps need to be downloaded from iOS or Android app stores, SMS is supported by all modern mobile phones.


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