Is Messaging The Same As Texting?

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Texting & messaging are often used in exchange for one another, but the two have vastly different purposes.

SMS, MMS, text messaging…there’s a wide variety of synonyms when it comes to texting. But a point of industry contention surrounds this “age” old question: is messaging the same as texting?

Yes, when you text you technically send a message. But sending a message isn’t the only qualifying element to messaging. In fact, messaging is a much more in-depth, industry-specific term relating to digital communications as a whole.

So the short answer—no. Messaging is not the same as texting. But for the curious minds who came here to learn a little bit more, we’ll explain the differences a bit more in depth.

What Is Messaging?

A hallmark icebreaker for anyone born in the 90’s is: what was your first AIM screen name? It’s silly and fun to reflect, but anyone who participated in early turn of the century internet chat was actually on the brink of a pretty revolutionary concept—messaging.

Messaging is a kind of real-time online chat enabled through a software application. Many of the third-party applications that enable messaging also have robust features that also make file sharing, video chat, and voice calling.

Some of the most popular messaging applications include: Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Skype.

What Is Texting?

On the other hand, texting, or text messaging, is the transmission of short electronic messages between two or more mobile devices. Texting utilizes a cellular network as the medium to send messages, which typically land at around 160 characters. Almost every single cellphone, regardless of “smart” internet technology, is capable of both sending and receiving text messages.

What Makes Texting Different Than Messaging?

By definition, texting and messaging may still sound similar thanks to advanced in mobile technology. Thanks to smartphones, like the iPhone and Android, text messages can be sent using an internet connection. This gets rid of the character limits and makes sending things like photos, videos, and, GIFs instantaneous.

However, even with smartphones in the equation, there are still some core differences between texting and messaging that make the two very different. For example:

  • Messaging requires both the sender and recipient to be using the same application. For example, you can’t send a message on WhatsApp and deliver it to someone’s Facebook.
    • With texting, you can send and receive messages with any cellphone, regardless of cellular carriers. For example, someone with Verizon can seamlessly text someone with a Sprint plan.
  • With messaging, you can send correspondence to people anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection.
    • With texting, however, your international carrier plan will determine if you can send messages overseas. While it’s almost always possible, it may just cost a little extra.
  • Messaging can often be done on a desktop, tablet, or laptop. However, if you want to use messaging services on a cellphone, you must have a smartphone.
    • Texting is inherently native to each mobile device, no need to communicate via a smartphone if you want to text!

Seemingly small differences, but to someone considering (for example) which tool to use when communicating with their customers, these variations make a difference.

So, if you are in a position deciding which tool would better fit your needs, how do you make the right choice?

Texting or Messaging- Which Should I Choose?

Making business decisions should be fun every once in a while! To try and lighten up your decision making process, we developed a quick quiz that will help point you in the right direction. Answer YES or NO to each question to the best of your ability and learn if texting or messaging is right for your needs.

  1. Do you have a budget of at least $25 a month to spend on digital communications?
  2. Are the customers you need/want to reach within the U.S. or Canada?
  3. Would you like your messages to go directly to a cellphone?
  4. Is it important to you that customers are notified right away when you send a message?
  5. Do you need/want to be able to send messages without an internet connection?

If you answered yes to a majority of these questions texting, or more specifically text marketing, seems like the solution for you! If you’re interested in learning more about what text marketing is (spoiler, it’s way more than just sending texts) check out some information here!

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