How does Gmail SMS work?

Mobile is becoming increasingly important in the digital arena. No two ways about it. No wonder then that Google launched its SMS or Short Messaging Service from Gmail in India today.

This is how it works. Gmail chat allows you to choose between call and SMS option. If you choose SMS, it asks you to enter the recipient’s name (mandatory) and mobile number of course. Once you do that, the chat window opens. Then, all you need to do is enter your text message.

You get 50 SMS credits in the beginning, which get added to with more usage. So if the recipient replies to you via SMS, you receive the reply in your chat window and your credits get added up.

Gmail SMS
Gmail SMS Chat Window

So what do I like about it?

a. It allows me to connect with people who may not be online all the time.

b. I don’t need to spend anything for sending the SMS via Gmail.

c. I can receive the SMS in my chat window like I would via a messenger.

d. Supports multiple countries and a number of operators.

What could improve?

a. Each SMS ends with a ‘You may reply’. Seems redundant for every message.

b.  The platform does not seem to be integrated with Google Talk on mobile. Had it been, it would have given competition to applications like Whatsapp. However, this seems intentional to help partnering mobile operators, as the recipient spends money for every SMS based on network charges.

Now would this enhance Google’s advertising revenue via mobile platform? Would be worth keeping an eye on.



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