Difference Between SMS and IM


Today everyone is stuck to the screens of their mobile phones. It feels like we have become slaves to the technology that we have developed. The advent of technology has led to many innovations and enhancing communication between human beings through various media has been a major part of the revolution in cellular technology. This has led to an immense development in management techniques and improved connectivity overseas. Many cellular companies are coming up with new schemes everyday to attract customers which pertain to placing calls, sending messages, and accessing high speed internet just by a click. Many applications have developed that provide free messaging services. The number of free bulk SMS service providers in India has increased substantially through the use of these apps.Instant messaging has now become the new trend and many consumers opt for high internet speed services that support instant messaging. Some companies have schemes that specifically focus on instant messaging apps at cheaper prices to attract consumers. Instant messaging and SMS services are usually considered the same, but that is untrue.

Definition of SMS-

  • Short Message Service (SMS) is limited to 160 characters and is also called as ‘text message’. It is usually available in all cellphones as a service provided by the network compiler.

Definition of IM-

  • A real-time, text-based communication service between two computers or phones which is software run is called instant messaging (IM). The communication is aided by an internet connection and the software should be present on both devices, to facilitate easier communication between the two devices.

Difference between the two-

  • Even one the best SMS service providers will tell you that text messages last only 160 characters long. It is a cellular phone service that is network dependent. IM is a computer session that has no restrictions on message size.
  • The session follows a simplex communication process where the session ends as soon as the text message is sent. Even if the receiver sends a message immediately, the session ends as soon as the message is sent. When it comes to IM, the computer session stays as long as possible, until the connection is severed by one end user. The connection can be restored quickly.
  • Text messages are also used for activating some function by sending a specific keyword called ‘short code’ which matches the keyword at the company message center. Instant messaging does not provide such a service. IM only facilitates internet-based communication, and links for activating services can be shared which are activated after a while.
  • Transferring multimedia files over the cellular network is possible only through MMS (Multimedia Messaging Services) which are different from SMS services. The entire process becomes tedious. File transfers, sharing of audio and video files, contact information, and sharing or pictures and animated gifs is possible in Instant Messaging.
  • Troubleshooting for SMS services needs personal interaction between the customers and cellular service provider. However, when there is any discrepancy in any IM service, the customer care center can be contacted, and the solution is obtained while sitting at home. Forums on the internet can be read for solving such discrepancies as well.

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