Which Way Is MMS Heading?

While actual usage statistics show that MMS usage is dropping, the Yankee Group somehow seems to think that MMS is taking over SMS and will be the leading messaging type (by revenue) by 2008. That seems like a stretch. The claim is that we’ll soon see growth in the “application-to-person” arena for MMS, where people will start receiving all sorts of alerts (read: spam) via MMS on our phones. We’ve said it before, but it needs saying again: people don’t want to be spammed on their mobile phones. There are some situation where alerts may make sense, but if machine generated MMS alerts are showing up more than text messages from people, then it’s pretty damn likely that people will get overwhelmed and upset that they’re being constantly bothered by these alerts. Alerts are only useful when they alert you to something important — and so far, most discussions about mobile alerts are more about intrusively pushing people to buy something. If MMS is really to succeed it needs to find its place, and that’s not as an SMS replacement and it’s not as a spam mechanism.

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