Editor's Corner: Users don't want MMS

Despite the proliferation of camera phones, picture and video messaging have not quite taken off like text messaging. There are many possible explanations: Interoperability problems may have hampered early adopters, inconsistent user interface design on some phones makes it tricky to send or receive a message--and, of course, there's the cost. An Informa report early this year zeroed in on the price of messaging and found that a 30kb MMS message costs about four times as much as an SMS message, probably a bit too pricey for some users.

However a new Harris Interactive survey has an interesting new perspective on MMS: Adoption has been slow because users don't want multimedia messaging in the first place. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed say they don't use messaging services because they "just don't see the need," followed by "cost" in a distant second at 19 percent and "don't know much about it" with 14 percent. Usually this sort of problem calls for better advertising and user eduction, but, at least in my humble opinion, operators have already spent quite a bit of time and money pushing picture messaging in TV ads, fliers and in-store promotions. Maybe it's time for an MMS "American Idol" tie-in? Text a picture of yourself dressed as your favorite contestant to... - Eli

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