What are those bubbles on my text message?

You’ve been waiting for a text from someone that you’re sort of into.

Well, ok let’s be honest – maybe more than sorta. Like realllllly into them.

They said they’d text you if they’d be interested in a social distancing hike at a local canyon together.

You keep refreshing the text messages on your NumberBarn account.



UGH! When will they text you?

You walk to the fridge to grab a drink then return to your phone.


When you open the text in your NumberBarn account, you see these gray bubbles:

You have no clue what they are saying! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

While we know this is a dire situation, let us explain what’s going on.

First, the basics:

SMS stands for Short Message Service and is a type of text messaging service. In fact, it’s the one that is most widely used and what you know as “texting”. With an SMS, you can send a message of up to 160 characters to another phone. Longer messages are normally split up into multiple messages.

Random fact: The first SMS text message in the history of all texts was sent via the SMS protocol way back in 1992.

MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. With an MMS, you can send pictures, video or audio content to another phone. 

Random fact: The first MMS capable phones were introduced around 2002 in conjunction with the first GSM network.

The NumberBarn messaging service supports SMS only. It does not support MMS. If someone sends you an MMS, meaning, if someone sends you a picture or video, it will likely not go through.

So what does this mean for those weird bubbles you saw on your NumberBarn message?

Those bubbles you see on your text are unsuccessful MMS messages that were trying to make their way through our system but were unable to do so as we cannot support them.

The best thing you could do at that point is say:

Oh no, looks like I didn’t get your last text. Can you please resend?

Now, let’s hope when they resend, their message includes a big Y-E-S to that social distancing hike!

We believe behind every telephone number there’s a beautiful idea, opportunity, or person. We strive to create those meaningful connections every day. To learn more about us, visit NumberBarn.com and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Written by

Jenny Dempsey

Jenny Dempsey is the Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn