Two weeks ago, I gave some opinions about why SMS will continue to grow. I also think SMS will, over time, fundamentally change from today’s 140 character experience. We’ll start to see video incorporated into SMS, making it more of a “rich” SMS experience. For instance, I’ve written in the past about location-based services and context aware location-based services.
Location-based texting has happened to all of us I’m sure – for instance it used to be commonplace to get a text message when you roamed in another country to tell you to hit +1 when you wanted to call back home. That doesn’t happen as much to me anymore but that’s an example. If there is location-based advertising, it will likely come to you via an SMS, and I think increasingly a picture would accompany the text message telling you about the restaurant deal. Whether this an MMS or a video-enabled SMS, I don’t know, but either way, you’re experiencing a richer SMS experience. Here is a website I found where you can add an advertisement to the bottom of an SMS – the ad can be text or visual. The example they give of the picture one (a golf one) you can immediately see is “better” since your eye is drawn to it. In fact, I’ve read where mobile media ads command 2.5x the cost of text ads because of this very reason – your eye is better drawn to it, resulting in better response rates.
I think we will also see “pull” kinds of SMS, where video would be part of that. For instance, we’ve probably also seen advertising either in magazines or walking down the street where the advertisement says “text to 1234 for more information.” And the information you get back would likely involve some form of video.
As such, SMS has a great and interesting future and I look forward to seeing mobile innovations here.