Published: Jul 04, 2022
Last update: Jul 17, 2022
Business communication SMS Marketing SMS services

Abbreviations in SMS, yes, or no?

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Abbreviations in SMS, yes, or no?
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One of the discussions that are taking place these days is the use of language. On the one hand, some think that the syntax must be respected at all times, writing the complete words, with the correct structure and punctuation marks.

On the other hand, there is the modern position of using abbreviations and other idioms, typical of the era of digital communication. An “incorrect” language is used, but one that people handle and can understand.

From the point of view of a company, a question arises: is it professional to write with abbreviations? There is no correct answer. A lot depends on the image and the business line, if you want to be a serious and formal business, or adapt to a more modern posture and get closer to today’s users.

What is certain is that abbreviations are beneficial for SMS. The spirit of text messages is their brevity and the possibility of including a statement in a few characters.

So an abbreviation can minimize text and space. In the same way, it also represents an economic benefit. Sending each SMS has a cost, and if you can use a single message instead of two, it is a very important saving.

Types of abbreviations in SMS communication

In the use of abbreviations, different groups or different categories can be classified.

1 Abbreviations proper

The first of these are logical abbreviations. For example, the word “page” can be shortened to “p.” or “pp”.

 It is also very common to use them in terms of contact information. Whether personal or work as appropriate:

  • Telephone number shortened to “tel.”
  • Address of a site in “add.”.

Cities or physical places also have abbreviations. The city of Madrid is “MAD” or Barcelona in “BCN”.

2 Social abbreviations

The second group refers to uses that were born from the digital vocabulary. They are modern expressions, typical of communication with the smartphone and social networks.

Some of them are not that common, and some people may not understand them or they may not be entirely clear. It is not the case of “cause”, which means because, but of others, such as the case of:

  • “atm” to refer to “at this moment”
  • “fyi” which means “for your information”

Communication closures also appear here, which are widely used. From br for “best regards”, Ys for “yours sincerely”, and THM, which is “thank you for your message”.

Links to social networks can also be shortened to single characters to save space. Facebook is FB, Twitter is TW and LinkedIn is Li, as some examples.

Finally, some key terms, such as:

  • The bank account number in “A/C”
  • The document number in “ID”
  • A permission (such as using a photo” in “PER”

These two groups of abbreviations are the most typical in the use of SMS. Let’s look at two clear examples.

“Dear User, your next visit is on 3/7 at 9:45. For more info, contact tel. 93 456 876”

“Take advantage of this disc. code. We send it to you because we love to bet on you. Ys, your trusted seller”

3 Abbreviations from English

There is a third type of abbreviation, which represents expressions typical of English. These have become popular, and are even used in the Spanish language.

Some of them are:

  • FYI: for your information
  • DIY: do it yourself
  • TBT: Throwback Thursday. This concept was born in social networks, more precisely Instagram, and consists of betting on nostalgic publications.
  • TMB: tweet me back (answer me in a tweet)
  • WTV: whatever (whatever)
  • YOLO: you only live once. It is widely used by young people today, to represent a risk or a spontaneous decision, without thinking much about it.

Abbreviations in SMS, yes, or no?

Again, we must name the debate on the use of the language, if it is okay to use abbreviations, or if the writing of the complete words should be respected. The decision is in your hands, and in the line that your company manages.

It may be that a formal or serious image is sought, or a more modern tone of voice that is closer to the language used by a large part of today’s society, more inclined towards young adults.

When it comes to SMS, abbreviations are highly recommended, without hesitation. They are a way of making the most of the space and the characters offered by the messages, while at the same time generating proximity in communication.