MMS Best Practices
MMS Content Deliverability Properties
MMS messages that are too large can cause problems with deliverability. Handsets and the carrier gateways used to deliver MMS messages have file size limitations. Because these file size limitations vary phone to phone and carrier to carrier, we provide an MMS content transcoding service to optimize your content for you. When you upload content into our system, we will automatically resize it for various phones and gateway limitations.
Most mobile devices launched over the past 5 years have displays in portrait mode. Therefore, we recommend mobile content be optimized for this layout. Images should be portrait or square otherwise, there will be a significant amount of space above and below the content. People are not used to twisting their phones to look at a picture full screen like they are for a video. A video can be either widescreen or portrait.
Content of Interest Area
MMS messages are delivered to the device’s messaging application and display a preview bubble. This bubble preview cuts off content on the top and on the sides. Additionally, devices may overlay controls over the top and bottom of the image once it is expanded. Therefore, any content of interest should be kept in the areas displayed on the preview bubble without having to open the content full screen.
Best Practices for Sending Static MMS Images
We recommend keeping MMS images files under 1Mb.
Skycore performs frequent tests of all content to determine the best dimension size. Our most recent tests brought us the same conclusions as mentioned in ‘Optimum MMS Size for Mobile Marketing in 2015.’ The optimal image size across all devices has an aspect ratio of 9:16. We recommend 640px by 1138px or 1080px by 1920px.
640px by 1138px : Avoid adding content of interest on the top 129px and the bottom 89px.
1080px by 1920px : Avoid adding content of interest on the top 219px and the bottom 150px.
- Image files are best in a .jpg format.
- If you do use a .png file, exclude transparency. Transparency will be filled in with color outside of your control by the recipient device.
- It’s important to note that on current iOS devices, when a static image is opened, it’s opened in a preview mode. This mode includes a top and bottom navigation bar, which covers a small portion of the top and bottom of the image. When a user touches the image in a preview mode, the top and bottom navigation bars are removed, allowing the user to see the full image. The content of interest areas mentioned above take that into consideration.
- We recommend that before sending this to your list, you send a test of your MMS to yourself to ensure the content is within the area of interest.
Best Practices for Sending Animated Gifs* Through MMS
We advise you to use a file under 600 KB.
When creating your animated gif, dimension size is an important aspect to consider. We recommend either using square content or portrait mode content. Animated content in a landscape format does not look good across all devices. We do not recommend creating animated gif images that extend to the top and bottom edges of the screen because these spaces may be covered up anyway by the preview bubble or navigation controls. By limiting the animated gif to the areas of interest, you will be able to use more animation slides or more colors in your image.
Recommended Dimensions (Portrait/Vertical)
480px wide by 720px tall (a little animation)
480px wide by 640px tall (a lot of animation)
Recommended Dimensions (Square)
640px wide by 640px tall (a little animation)
480px wide by 480px tall (a lot of animation)
480px by 720px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 39px at the top, right, and bottom of the gif. Also avoid the adding such content in the 44px on the left side of the gif.
480px by 640px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 65px at the top, and the 58px at the bottom of the gif. Also avoid the 39px to each side of the gif.
640px by 640px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 52px at the top, right, and bottom of the gif. Also avoid the adding content in the 58px on the left side of the gif.
480px by 480px: Avoid placing content of interest in the 39px at the top, right, and bottom of the gif. Also avoid the adding such content in the 43x on the left side of the gif.
When decreasing file size, you want to make sure that you are not decreasing the quality. Blurry animated images will not leave a good impression with your customers. Here are a few tips to keep the file size down without hurting the quality of the animation.
- Keep the animation short and repeat it.
- Lower your Frames Per Second (FPS). A higher frame speed means that you are adding more content to each second which will increase the file size. While a video may have 24-30 FPS, we recommend keeping animated gifs in the 2-4 range depending on the length of the content.
- Limit the number of colors used in your file.
- Animated images should always be saved and uploaded as .gif files.
- Do not include any transparent aspects in your file. Transparency will be filled in with another color by the phone, which is out of your control.
- When transcoding an animated gif, we will reduce the dimensions of the animated gif by 25% and 50%. We will also apply compression to the animated gif. The results of this compression will vary based on the number of colors and compression you have already applied to your source animated gif.
- We recommend that before sending this to your list, you send a test of your MMS to yourself to ensure high image quality.
*An animated gif is a .gif image file composed of multiple images that play on a loop. Unlike videos, animated gifs files do not include sound and do not require the viewer to press play.
MMS Best Practices for Sending Videos
We recommend keeping MMS video files under 20 mb if you are using Skycore transcoding. This will result in Video files from 500Kb to 1.5Mb. We recommend keeping your MMS video files under 1Mb if you are not using Skycore transcoding.
1280px by 720px
640px by 1138px
Duration: Videos kept under 20 seconds long will be delivered in HD quality to most phones.
Frame Rate: 30 FPS
Bitrate: 2-5 mbps
You can improve the quality of your video by using the following techniques:
- Use spoken audio instead of music.
- Use slower movements in the video.
- Use solid colors.
- Video source files are best in .mp4 or .mov formats.
- Different carriers have different requirements when it comes to the file size of a video. Carriers may decrease the size of the video if it is too large. This could affect the quality that is provided. For this reason it is extra important to follow our guidelines and decrease the chances of this happening.
- If the file size is exceeded, we do have a default option that will send the messages as an SMS link with the video.
- We recommend that before sending this to your list, you send a test of your MMS to yourself to ensure high video quality.