What is a Flash SMS and how can you use it?
Many SMS gateway providers offer them: Flash SMS. Maybe you are also asking yourself the question: what is a Flash SMS and should I use it for my business? Don’t worry, you are not alone in this. In this blog post, we’ll explain what Flash SMS are, where exactly the difference is to regular SMS, in which cases you can use Flash SMS and when you’re better off using regular SMS. Let’s get started!
What is a Flash SMS?
A Flash SMS is a special type of SMS that is displayed to recipients differently than regular SMS. It is also known as class 0 SMS. Flash SMS are (usually) displayed directly in the recipient’s screen. Thus, they do not have to be opened by the recipient and therefore attract extra attention. Moreover, they are not stored on the receiving device. Unlike push messages, however, they do not disappear from the recipient’s screen until the recipient actively closes the message. Flash SMS can contain more than 160 characters, but the message is cut off after a certain length. We therefore recommend that you do not send more than 160 characters. In our tests, up to 200 characters were possible in most displays.
Which use cases are Flash SMS suitable for?
Due to their special features, Flash SMS are particularly well suited for some use cases, but less so for others. As with regular SMS, make sure your recipients know what to expect so they can trust your messages.
In most cases, Flash SMS are not suitable for sending marketing SMS. On the one hand, advertising messages in Flash SMS seem intrusive, because your customers can no longer decide for themselves whether they want to read your message right now or not. On the other hand, your customers cannot return to the message if they are interested in your offer later.
In addition, smishing awareness may cause your recipients to distrust Flash SMS if they contain promotional messages, especially if the sender ID cannot be displayed.
Good to know
On most newer receiving devices, sender IDs for Flash SMS are no longer displayed. Instead, they are replaced by a generic sender name.
I want to send Flash SMS in my company! What do I have to do?
Flash SMS cannot be sent from most cell phones and using Flash SMS apps is not wise, as you will never know what exactly you are sending, via which platform or provider and who may read your messages. However, with a flexible SMS provider like sms77.io you can easily send Flash SMS to employees or customers and also integrate this sending into your software. All you need is an account with us and enough credit to send the Flash SMS.
You can send Flash SMS from our webapp as well as via our API. Also many integrations support sending. You can find detailed information about sending Flash SMS in our helpdesk article.
All the best
Header picture by Azat Satlykov via Unsplash
Edit on 5.8.22: The original version said that Flash SMS could contain 160 characters. In fact, you can use more characters, but the message is terminated in the display after a certain number of characters. We made changes to reflect this.
There was also a note in the original about problems receiving Flash SMS on iPhones. We have adapted the note and the content of the corresponding link, since similar phenomena now also occur on Android devices.