SMSwarriors SMS Vs IM

SMS vs IM: Difference Between SMS and IM

Ah, the digital world……instant messaging, instant information, instant fun. In this information age, people around the world are close and connected due to a smaller world. SMS has been around much longer than Instant Messaging (IM) apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and Skype. It is so old that it comes built into your phone already as a standard app. There is no need to download it.

But what does this mean for its effectiveness in this modern and fast-changing world? Does it mean that it is now outdated and we should now rely on the new kids on the block – these new apps? I mean, it is free!

And most importantly, what does it mean for SMS Marketing?

Let’s take a look at the main difference between these apps and compare them to each other weighing their pros and cons.

Role of Telecom Companies

These IM’s popularity has grown in the past few years, especially within the younger generation. In the modern day messaging, we now have the convenience of choosing our preferred method of communication.
Countries differ in their choice of messaging apps. For example, the younger generation in most of the European countries like the Dutch prefer using WhatsApp over SMS. While in the US, SMS is still as popular as WhatsApp.


But why the difference?

There is a host of factors to consider on why geography plays a part in the choice of apps. One of them being local phone companies that provide different packages. This plays a huge part in which apps the user chooses and favours.
There is a very high competition between the telecom companies in those countries who are not monopolized. Due to this fierce rivalry, they provide different packages with free/unlimited SMS. Their diverse packages include a lot of freebies especially free SMS.

SMS vs IM: Internet Connectivity

Unlike SMS, these IMs need the internet to function. This is a drawback to their service. But you can send an SMS anywhere, anytime to anyone without an internet connection. Also, the receiver need not pre-install the app. As mentioned earlier, all mobiles already come with the SMS feature. But, there is some cost involved to send out SMS messages if you don’t have a special package.

SMS vs IM: Price

Despite all the options, SMS is still the most secure and reliable way of IM’ing at present. The corporations that own these other apps tend to use different encryption methods. Some of them are unencrypted which means your information is available for hackers. But, recently, most of the IMs have been working to offer full encryption of the instant messages transferred.
The biggest price you are paying for your free service is providing your online history to these companies. For example, your public personal data, friends list, online login habits frequency and duration, the location of photos, type of content you view and everything you do online can be logged, stored and sold to companies for their marketing purposes.

SMS vs IM: Effectiveness

Why is SMS Marketing more effective? According to this statistic, as of July 2017, there are 1.3 billion active monthly users of WhatsApp. Every day, we receive an increasing amount of messages via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and Skype. Most days can go by without us even receiving an SMS.

Consider emails, for example, we all receive them. We are all bombarded by them every single day. For most of us, we end up having hundreds of unopened mail in our inbox. So for an email marketer, they consider it a champagne popping day when they get a 10-20% open rate.

And this is why SMS Marketing will not falter in the presence of these more popular apps. It is not used as much for everyday messaging purposes. This makes SMS stand out even more from the other IM services that are becoming saturated. The open rate of an SMS is extremely high. We have spoken about this earlier and have pointed out the reason behind this –  hardly any traffic to compete with.
So as much as it seems like SMS is not as popular and will not be as effective as these other IM’s, it is actually the opposite. The more traffic on these IM’s the more lost your message will become and the more SMS Marketing stands out.


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