I recently was reading an article on CrackBerry when I noticed a term that they threw into the post. They were saying that if RIM implemented their BlackBerry Messenger on multiple platforms (iOS and Android) that they would call it “SMS 2.0” and it got me thinking… What if there was an SMS 2.0?
Right now, in May of 2012, there is only a single SMS technology available on smartphones. Each message can be 160 characters long, but if it is longer, it will be split into multiple messages. The message is then sent over the cellular network to another phone number where it is displayed on the screen. Since technology naturally advances over time, BlackBerry, Apple, and other companies have created alternative services to SMS messaging (texting), but those services only work within the platform itself. If you are using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) or iMessage, it doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t even count as a text message on your carrier bill. Both BBM and iMessage allow you to see when the message has been delivered, when it has been read, and when your friend is typing you a message back. Everything is instantaneous, and on iMessage, synced over multiple devices (Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) via your Apple ID.
The problem carriers are having with BBM and iMessage is that now businesses and customers aren’t purchasing a text messaging plan. If a company issues everybody an iPhone specifically to talk only to other members of the company with, why even bother paying for SMS messaging when you can just use iMessage? Unlimited text messaging plans run about $10 per month, so if there are 100 employees, that saves the company $12,000 annually simply by using iMessage.
I don’t know what sparked it, but the term SMS 2.0 sounds catchy. If Verizon or another large carrier could invent a service dubbed SMS 2.0 that performs the same advanced messaging tasks as iMessage and BBM, they could win customers back. Android, webOS, BlackBerry, and iPhones (maybe) could all be “SMS 2.0 Enabled,” which would be a great marketing tool. Half of the people who own and are loyal to BlackBerry are simply using the platform just because they want BlackBerry Messenger…
SMS 2.0 could make a dent in alternative messaging.