Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between SMS and BBM


When it comes to communicating, voice calls have been pushed aside by messaging. At the forefront of messaging is the first, SMS. But many are opting for other similar services like BBM or the Blackberry Messenger. The main difference between SMS and BBM is the phones that they work with. SMS is a standard feature on all cellphones, thus any digital phone is able to send and receive SMS. On the other hand, BBM is a messaging service strictly for Blackberry phones. Even if you have a Blackberry phone, you cannot send a BBM to a person who doesn’t have one. Even though Blackberry is very popular, it still greatly restricts who you can message with.

BBM and SMS work in slightly different ways. SMS is sent directly to the telco, which is responsible for routing it to the recipient. In contrast, BBM bypasses the telco and goes directly to the internet and sends the message to Blackberry servers, which then sends it to the recipient. It goes without saying that you need to have an internet connection, either via WiFi or a data plan, in order to use BBM. Internet is not really an issue with SMS, as long as you have a signal, you can send or receive SMS. The downside of SMS is that telcos may charge you extra, depending on who you are sending it to. You can be charged for sending an SMS to someone on another country or even on another network.  This does not happen with BBM, no matter where in the world you are sending your message to.

BBM is also more powerful compared to SMS. You can have group conversation in BBM, where there are more than two people who can participate in it. You can also send pictures and audio snippets in a BBM, something you can do in an MMS but not in an SMS. Lastly, BBM allows you to send smileys in your messages just like most computer chat clients do. This is very useful in conveying emotions or reactions in your messages. SMS does not support smileys since it does not support graphics. What most people do is use special characters together to form smileys.


  1. SMS is available on all phones while BBM is only available for Blackberry phones
  2. BBM requires an internet connection while SMS does not
  3. SMS may incur additional charges while BBM won’t
  4. BBM lets you do more than SMS


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1 Comment

  1. Yes, BBM lets you do more than SMS. Hoping someday I have it because it could help me a lot more work by internet. Thanks for this!

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