I for one was surprised by the initial uproar at the lack of MMS (Multimedia Message Service) on the iPhone, then bewildered by the levels of excitement when MMS was finally released by AT&T yesterday.
Surely, no one actually uses it any more do they? I had a tough time finding any actual statistics but my plan is to email a few telephone companies to see if I can get my hands of some concrete stats. When introduced, MMS was somehow envisioned to replace SMS. “Same as SMS…but with pictures”. Only it never has. Actually, MMS traffic volume has been ridiculously low in comparison to the volume of SMS traffic. From time to time the discussion of whether MMS is a thing of the past crops up, one example being when Apple excluded MMS from the device. Here I am stirring up the MMS discussion pot again.
With email built into most modern phones, MMS feels very inadequate to me. The only two advantages I can see that MMS has over email is that you only need to know someone’s phone number to send an MMS, whereas email obviously requires an email address. Email is the new phone number anyway isn’t it? Secondly, when you or the recipient doesn’t have a data connection.
I posed the question on Friendfeed earlier this month, and I think the majority of responses speak for themselves. That said, it is a very geeky early adopter community, most will own devices with solid email integration, like iPhones or Blackberry’s. Then again, when I didn’t own an email supported device, I never used MMS either. When multimedia messaging first launched, I do remember a few months of frequent (often rude) messages arriving in my inbox, but that declined fast and quite frankly I don’t even remember the last time I received one. Do you?
If you’re a frequent MMS user, I’d love to know what you use it for.
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