What is MMS Picture Messaging? Definition of MMS

Friends being photographed at a pub. Getty Images / Henrik Sorensen

Definition:

MMS messaging, which stands for multimedia messaging service, takes SMS (short message service) text messaging a step further by allowing for longer lengths beyond the traditional, 160-character SMS limit.

MMS was first deployed commercially in March 2002 by Telenor in Norway. While MMS can be used to send pictures, audio, video and rich text from one cell phone directly to another, MMS is most popularly used as picture messaging from camera-equipped phones.

Though MMS content is often received by the recipient's cell phone just like SMS, MMS sometimes requires mobile Web to be accessible. There's also a 300KB file limit, so you can't send a picture, voice recording, or a video recording over the specified file limit. Most mobile devices automatically compress media to fit into the 300KB file size, so you don't have to worry too much about it.

Additionally, if you would like to share media with your friends and family and want to do it over the internet, instead of MMS, I would recommend you to check out Google Photos, if you're an Android user, or Apple Photos, if you're an iPhone user. These services will allow you to share much larger, better resolution pictures and videos, and backup your media at the same time; depending on the type of account you have with the respective service.

Pronunciation:

em-em-ess

Also Known As:

Picture messaging

Examples:

I can use my cell phone’s MMS to send you a picture from my handset to yours.

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