Yesterday, Facebook’s Chamath Palihapitiya (Vice President of Growth, Mobile and International) announced an upcoming Facebook SMS service that is expected to deliver 90% of the Facebook experience via SMS.
It would be a perfect tool to get people in less broadband-covered markets hooked up into the social network through a ubiquitous mobile experience. Already today, Facebook can send profile status updates via text messages through more than 80 mobile operators worldwide. This is just one example how even big Internet players embrace mobile messaging and recognize the relevance of it, in particular in emerging markets.
My general impression is that SMS and MMS are back on the stage. There is an abundance of players in the SMS and MMS ecosystem at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Offerings range from social network connectivity (e.g. MMS to Facebook), over mobile marketing to email push services. While mobile operators invest in broadband, Smartphones and expect growing data traffic, many of them also look more thoroughly at the role SMS and MMS can play in the future. Platform vendors, service providers and application developers have designed numerous services based on SMS and MMS and are paving the way for messaging 2.0.
It is time for mobile operators, not only in emerging markets, to have a closer look on how they can further exploit a well established medium and one of their cash cows. Both SMS and MMS have a huge potential of becoming one of the pillars in tomorrows service world.