What is MMS?
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is a new form of communication that combines rich content, such as audio and video clips, photographs and images, with text messaging. It is an end-to-end application for person-to-person mobile messaging, mobile-to-mobile, mobile-to-Internet and Internet-to-mobile. It is good news for service providers, as they can now improve their existing text-based services by adding rich visual content. MMS will be a key mass-market revenue generator for content providers, mobile operators, application developers and advertisers, while for users it will provide a way to capture a moment of time and share it with others.
SMS has been the pioneer in wireless data applications and SMS services were the first mobile data services with a serious impact on the operator’s revenue. The industry has seen tremendous growth and, clearly, messaging will lead the way to profits in 3G as well. Inevitably, the way that revenues from mobile applications are currently shared out will change and become much more versatile.
The first Multimedia Messaging Service was launched in 2002, since then MMS has gained wide support and success around the world. MMS is proving to be the next generation SMS and is now entering a new phase with advanced features such as message presentation capabilities, video and content protection for content providers
After the first service launches in early 2002, over 120 operators have started to offer MMS worldwide instantly. The early results from these MMS launches have been very encouraging. Operators around the world have reported rapid user adoption, significant traffic and ARPU increases.
From the users’ perspective, a successful MMS launch needs the terminal to be set up ready to use from the minute he or she walks out of the store with it. An operator can meet this expectation by offering automatic terminal provisioning over the air through its own network and today, Turkcell, the leading operator in Turkey is offering this service over the air. In addition, operators need to educate end users, not only on how they can send and receive MMS messages but also how they can discover and subscribe to MMS content services. Operators can create service packs, set-up content service demos, provide customer training and competitions in retail stores, as well as at relevant events such as festivals and concerts.
MMS as a Mobile Marketing Instrument
Today, mobile phone subscribers are increasing enormously, especially in the emerging markets. Paralel to this trend, usage of mobile Internet services has increased in recent years. The mobile Internet refers to mobile commerce activities, including mobile telecommunication, mobile content, entertainment service and e-commerce relying on a mobile platform.
While many reports indicate that the mobile Internet market will be huge, little is known about whether people will accept MMS. In recent years, understanding the diffusion of information technologies (IT) has been important to both practitioners and researchers. Diffusion is achieved through user adoption, which means “the acceptance into use and the continued use of a new idea or thing”. Innovation diffusion theory (IDT) attempts to explain which factors will influence the adoption of IT. Moreover, factors contributing to the acceptance of IT are likely to vary within different categories of adopters.
An empirical study carried out in Taiwan, to apply IDT to examine the influences on MMS adoption among different categories of adopters in innovation diffusion stages. The study has provided evidence that IDT can be used to explain intentions to adopt MMS. Results of this study also creates a guideline for using MMS as a marketing instrument;
1. People are usually concerned about the usefulness of MMS and MMS providers should emphasize the benefits and value of using MMS. This finding has been confirmed by theoretical models such as Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Theoretical Bioaccumulation Potential (TBP), and by empirical studies.
2. Since compatibility is another key element in motivating the majority of adopters and potential adopters, it is important to ensure that MMS fits well with the existing values and lifestyles of the adopters. To achieve that, it is important to understand how MMS can be made to be more compatible with the adopters’ lifestyles and needs.
3. The influences of other factors such as ease of use, trialability, result demonstrability, visibility, image, and voluntariness are mixed for different categories of adopters as well as potential adopters and users. In finding the most appropriate strategies for specific adopters, Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning strategy should be taken into consideration.
The proliferation of mobile Internet applications has caused telecommunication organizations to extend their service scopes. Especially with the arrival of the third generation (3G) gear, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) may become a ‘killer’ application for messaging services.
“MMS entering into the next phase”, White Paper, Nokia Corporation, 2003
Hsua, C, His, P & Hsu, H. (2007) “Adoption of the mobile Internet: An empirical study of multimedia message service (MMS)”, Omega, 35 (6), pp. 715-726.
About the Author:
Gonca TELLİ YAMAMOTO is an associate professor in the School of Applied Sciences at Okan University. She is a head of Information Sciences and Technologies Department at Okan University. She is also coordinating Okan University Distance Education Center at present. She was formerly founder and director of Social Sciences Institute of Okan University, Turkey.Her blog is http://goncatelli.blogspot.com
Gürkan KOYUNCU, who was born in 1980 in Turkey, is a PhD student in departmant of Engineering Management at the Marmara University. He graduated in Systems Engineering from Yeditepe University. Then, he graduated from Engineering Management in master program of Marmara University and he studied on selection and evaluation of supplier in supply chain management as a master thesis. He is working as a Chief of Production Planning in an automotive company.
Eda KURT who was born in 1980 in Turkey, is a PhD student in departmant of Engineering Management at the Marmara University. She graduated in Industrial Engineering from the Istanbul Technical University. She studied the knowledge management and information in master thesis. She is working as a SAP ( it is an ERP program) consultant.
Emrah ELMAS who was born in 1978, is a PhD student in departmant of Engineering Management at the Marmara University. He graduated in Industrial Engineering from the Istanbul University. He studied Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY). He is working as a key account manager in Turkcell, Istanbul, TR at the moment.