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SMS vs. In-app Messaging

In a world teeming with various methods of digital communication, it can be difficult to understand the difference between SMS and in-app messaging. This confusion is understandable. They serve with the same purpose, which is a message are sent instantly to a recipient. But the two channels are distinct from each other as well. Here are some more details you should consider before deciding what service or app is best for you:

In-app messaging

There are many popular messaging apps on the market today. For example Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Line, and Skype. In-app messaging also has their benefits. They are fast too. But don’t forget also many disadvantages.

App download required.

Mobile apps must be must be downloaded onto the user’s phone before they can be used. In other words, you have to get them to take action to download the apps.

Single platform.

For the most part, apps cannot communicate with each other. For example, a Facebook Messenger user cannot send a message to a WhatsApp user, and vice versa.

Connection required.

For many messaging apps, users must be connected with each other before they can freely send messages. For brands that want to message with their guests, this means that both the sender and recipient must have the app downloaded.

Relies on notifications.

When a user receives an instant message, the app generally sends a push notification to let them know. However, push notifications can be turned off, meaning there is no guarantee that the user will receive the message in a timely manner, if at all.

Short Message Service (SMS)

SMS is fast. Almost every mobile phone has the capability to send and receive text messages. Here are a few reasons SMS is more convenient and ubiquitous than in-app messaging:

No app required.

Users do not need to download anything to send or receive SMS. Every mobile phone has a native SMS app already built in. This makes it much more convenient and it’s impossible to delete.

It’s universal.

Anyone with a mobile phone can text anyone else with a mobile phone (with a mobile number). There is no need to coordinate apps.

Wider reach.

Text messaging has a 98 percent open rate, which makes it perhaps the most powerful method of digital communication. Users are much more likely to open up a text message than they are to see an in-app message, especially if they aren’t access the messaging app being used.

No sign-in necessary.

Unlike in-app messaging, users do not have to sign into an app to send or receive messages. It is available on the device at all times, making it very unlikely that the recipient will miss a message.