Interpreting Mobile Messaging Stories

It’s a good news/bad news type of thing. If your business model requires MMS takeup to be good, you might be excited to hear the wonderful news that MMS use has doubled for those in the 25-to-34 year old hot demographic. Of course, then you might be disappointed to read this BBC article noting that MMS takeup is much slower than expected, and most people simply don’t seem to care about it. It all depends on how you want to read the stats and if you’re a glass half-full/half-empty sort of person. Doubling uptake is wonderful… until you realize what a small percentage you’re starting with (in this case 10%). In fact, trying to pitch that story as a positive is actually more likely to do harm. Almost everyone involved in MMS has screwed up the promoting of it — focusing on the wrong things, making it difficult and making it expensive, while somehow believe that people really do communicate in pictures more than words. Instead, it’s time everyone stopped focusing on MMS as some sort of more expensive, but less useful, replacement for SMS, and realized that it’s only going to be truly successful when much more innovative apps are commonplace.

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