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Understanding A2P vs. P2P Messaging


June 18, 2019


June 5, 2023

Video: Understanding A2P vs P2P Messaging

Part 2 of a 5 part series

Getting messages to the intended recipient can be complicated. The types of numbers you use to send text messages can have a critical effect on their deliverability.

The second video in our “Message Deliverability: It’s not as simple as hitting send” series takes a deeper look at the difference between application-to-person (A2P) and person-to-person (P2P) messaging.

So what’s the difference between P2P and A2P messaging? Think of messages as traveling on two different roads—a two-way street and a highway.

P2P Messaging: The Two Way Street

P2P messages travel on the two-way street. Traffic moves more slowly allowing roughly one message per second. Local, ten-digit phone numbers are best for this type of traffic.

Sending more than one message per second on a P2P route is a major cause of deliverability issues.

When you need to send messages at higher volumes…you need another option.

A2P Messaging: The Highway

A2P messages move similarly to a highway. You can send and receive high-volume messages from one location, like a contact center or central application, to multiple recipients at once. This type of messaging is used for notifications, alerts, PIN numbers, coupons and more.

A2P messages are sent using short codes, toll-free numbers, and new Local A2P numbers,  that allow you to use local numbers to send high-volume traffic.

Use the road that’s right for you

Which road your message travels on can affect whether it gets to its destination. Make sure you are on the right path for your use case. Want to learn more about the rules of the messaging road? Check out our Messaging Deliverability page today and stay tuned for parts 3 thru 5 of our series.

Learn more about message deliverability