Eli5: Why does texting a video get downgraded and have size limits but you can send a 1080p video through social media clear as day?

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Eli5: Why does texting a video get downgraded and have size limits but you can send a 1080p video through social media clear as day?

In: Technology

Generally speaking, the MMS protocol, as implemented by carriers, will impose a file size limit of just a few megabytes at most.

Social media platforms generally will allow far larger files.

Videos take up a lot of space. Large videos and higher resolution videos take up even *more* space. Messaging apps limit how big a file can be when you send it so you don’t destroy your own data allotment and your friend’s data allotment. So it compresses the video to make it smaller, which means reducing the quality of it.

Social media websites are just designed to preserve more of the video, especially since you can upload video from anywhere, not just a phone.

Because texting isn’t really designed for large files and mobile carriers don’t want you really to do it that way, and so they limit the file sizes of files going trough the MMS network. Social media is designed and intended to be used to share large media files, and so they limit the file sizes a lot less.

SMS has limited capacity, so video quality is downgraded to conserve space and make for easier transmission. SMS is essentially a little bit of “extra space” in the telephone transmission band or something like that. Social media uses internet, so the file is able to be sent that way without the same limitations. iMessage actually will send videos and photos to other iMessage users via internet instead of sms for this reason.