A Simple Differentiation Between P2P and A2P Messaging

Text messaging is the new norm of communication. With many social media platforms pertaining to their own direct messaging features, nothing beats the good old text conversation. Sending “Hey, I’m at your door.” via text messaging is the new way of ringing someone’s doorbell.

But you must have noticed that you are receiving some messages that you can’t reply to. Between the list of your personal chats, there may appear messages from short numbers notifying you about the local market offering discounts, promoting a new brand, product, or a store you visited last time.

So how do you get all those promotional offers and notifications on your personal number?

Is there more than one type of way you can send or receive a message?

Let us break it down in two for your ease of understanding.

P2P and A2P Messaging

What is P2P?

Person to Person or Peer to Peer messaging more commonly known as P2P is a two-way messaging route. It is a process of exchanging messages from one phone to another via a valid mobile network. The process works by a sender sending a SMS that is received by a mobile operator to be delivered to the intended recipient. The outcome is a conversation or dialogue.

What is A2P?

A2P or Application to Person messaging is a one-way process of messaging. Messages are sent by a web-based platform or application where recipients are not expected to reply. A2P messages can be promotional messages, discount coupons, passwords, etc. It is why A2P is preferably used for sending high-volume traffic. The outcome is more of a transaction or sales pitch than conversational like P2P.

The Difference Between Using A2P & P2P In The US

1. Three types of A2P

As compared to P2P, A2P is further sub-divided into three categories:

a)     Short Codes

Short codes are abbreviated numbers that restrict dialing or response back. They are used in A2P messaging for text blasts and promotional campaigns via SMS or MMS formats. They have a fixed monthly sending cost of about $500. They also require approval from carriers and can take time in the beginning before churning out texts.

b)    Toll-Free

A2P traffic can be easily sent through toll-free numbers. There is not daily message restriction on toll-free numbers, and they allow the recipient to dial back as well. Toll-free numbers can support a similar volume of data being sent out as shortcodes but with more benefits. Like,

  • Toll-free numbers don’t cost as much, saving you money.
  • They can be set up in a matter of days, saving you time.

c)     Local 10-Digit Numbers

Both shortcodes and toll-free numbers don’t have the advantage of familiarity that a local 10-digit number has. With the benefits of both the categories mentioned above, A2P traffic is being sent through local numbers increasingly nowadays.

2. Content

As mentioned above, P2P results in a conversation or dialogue as an output. As P2P is a two-way text approach, the content can vary from random phrases to quotes, depending on what the conversation topic is and how heated the discussion gets. P2P messaging hosts all kinds of personal and direct messaging chains.

On the other hand, A2P is more of a transaction than a conversation. Therefore the content varies greatly depending upon what purpose the A2P traffic is fulfilling.

  • If it is a promotional message, it will be an advertising campaign or tagline like, ‘You can avail improved services for much less price.’
  • If it is a discount coupon, it will alert the code that can be used like, ‘Use code BRB20 for 20% on your next shopping spree.’
  • If it is a bulk notification, it may send out a news piece or weather update, ‘Keep your raincoats ready, thundershowers expected.’

In fact, some organization obtains assistance from a professional writer like KingEssay to construct short and attractive piece of messages.

3. Original & Forward Messaging

So you want to send that really funny text to your friend, how do you forward a text message? P2P allows original and forward messaging both. However, most of the A2P messages cannot be forwarded. The reason being that they are already being sent out in bulk and might initially reach the person you’re trying to get to in the first place. Also, depending upon the content as we shared above, A2P messages can be restricted to one recipient only without allowing any responsive texting.

4. Sender ID

Where P2P uses your personal phone number as your sender ID, for A2P, it works differently. For all SMS sent throughout the US, they must originate from a US pre-approved A2P category. Sender ID allows the sender to choose what name appears in the recipients’ address book when they receive the text. Brands particularly love this feature because it helps them in SMS marketing by enabling them to set their names as the sender ID. It increases familiarity for the customer and decreases the irritability factor of advertisement.

5. Restrictions

Where A2P might be restricted for non-responsive texting, P2P is restricted for high-risk marketing. Programs that have a high potential for spam, like:

  • Loans
  • Debt Consolidation
  • Investment Opportunities
  • Credit Repair
  • Tax Relief etc.

Bottom Line

P2P is a two-way road traveled by many, and A2P is the highway for commercial use. You should choose the path depending upon your individual or business needs for the best results.

Author Bio: Melissa Calvert is currently working as an Editor at Speedy Writer, a great platform to buy essay online UK. She has excellent writing and editing skills that she attributes to her passion for writing. She has generated a significant audience to share her personal interests online.