In certain instances, businesses need to send longer text messages to communicate effectively. Perhaps it’s a doctor’s office sending post-appointment care notes or a retailer sending a promotion that includes emojis. But the increased character counts in such messages can cause them to be sent across several text messages (segments) which may diminish the recipient's experience and increase costs.
That’s why we’re excited to announce that MMS for Long Text Messages is now generally available!
This feature allows Twilio customers to deliver those longer messages to their recipients via a single MMS message instead of it being broken up into smaller SMS segments. MMS for Long Text Messages is available at no additional cost as part of our Messaging Services features. It is available in the US and Canada and can be used with Short Code, Toll-Free, and A2P 10DLC sender types.
This is another step in Twilio’s ongoing efforts to release the software and APIs that make developer’s jobs easier while they build for the next decade of messaging!
“Twilio’s MMS for Long Text Messages is how we ensure our customers never send a message that is broken up into multiple parts. It has saved us money, was quick and simple to implement and has become a key component of our offerings."
-Brian Knorr, CTO, Project Broadcast
Why we built MMS for Long Text Messages
What appears as a single SMS message to consumers is often sent in multiple segments when the text exceeds character limits in place. This is painful due to cost, throughput, and potential risk to user experience.
This pain is exacerbated for companies that have throughput limitations due to A2P 10DLC or those that have use-cases that typically require longer format SMS to be shared with their customers. Traditionally, 160 character (GSM) or 70 character (UCS-2) message encoding has resulted in larger SMS messages being delivered in multiple segments and at a greater cost for customers due to per-segment billing and per-segment carrier fees.
Use Cases - Who benefits from MMS for Long Text Messages
You may benefit from MMS for Long Text Messages if you:
- Send a high volume of messages that require a larger number of characters.
- Registered for A2P 10DLC and your messages often exceed the 160 character (GSM) or 70 character (UCS-2) limit(s).
- Have throughput concerns with sending longer message bodies and their allocated A2P 10DLC campaign MPS (message segment per second)
MMS for Long Text Messages in Action
Sending a Long Message without Media (e.g., JPG, GIF) as an MMS message is straightforward! Below you'll see an overview, or you can follow along in the Messaging Services docs.
Step 1. Include the new
SendAsMms parameter with boolean value of
Step 2. Confirm the message was delivered as MMS. By using the feature you will notice
SentAs=MMS in the response payload of the delivery callback indicating the message was successfully delivered as MMS. Furthermore, in the message logs, you will see your message delivered in a single segment instead of a multi-segmented delivery.
Congratulations, you’ve now successfully delivered an entire Long Message as a single MMS!
Important Considerations While Using MMS for Long Text Messages
This feature is only available in the US and Canada as it is contingent on MMS Support and can be used with Short Code, Toll-Free, and A2P 10DLC sender types. Note that long text MMS messages sent to an MMS incapable recipient will be redirected to SMS by default.
Here are some other resources you may find useful:
- Supported MMS content types
- What is A2P 10DLC?
- What pricing and fees are associated with the A2P 10DLC service?
- Twilio Messaging Policy
- 2022 Guide to Business Messaging Number Types
Prior to today, if you wanted to send longer messages you would have to endure the costs of multiple segments and the risks of a negative customer experience. Now you can use MMS to send longer text messages to remove those implications
MMS for Long Text Messages is available to you at no additional cost as part of our Messaging Services features. You can learn more about all the other features available to you when using Messaging Service in the Docs.
We can’t wait to see what you build!
Casey Runnells is a Senior Solutions Engineer at Twilio and is passionate about helping businesses grow and redefine their strategies around enhanced customer communication and data. You can reach Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org