I wish to cut the cord on my cordless.
September 22, 2011 6:38 AM   Subscribe

I have some questions regarding MMS charges and the Facebook Messenger app. Between it and the upcoming iOS messages in iOS5 I would like to completely eliminate my texting plan (in light of AT&T's total dick move of eliminating the $10/month text plan-which I was going to move to after iOS5). I figure between Facebook and my iphone-owning friends, family, and girlfriend I should be 99.9% covered and I'll eat the per-text charge on the 2-3 a month that may slip by. I just cant seem to find a clear answer on one point, though:

While I know the actual sending of the message counts toward my data use (no worries-I still have the unlimited plan) what about the alert and little blue pop-up on my screen when I get a message? Does that part count as a MMS or is it a separate non-MMS push notification of some sort? In other words, does the message itself count toward my data while the alert is counted by AT&T as a text? If it were an MMS of some sort I should be able to see it in my phone's MMS log, right? I'd like to be sure before I deny AT&T $240 a year they don't deserve.

Piggyback question: While I am getting the above mentioned alerts and display, my girlfriend isn't. What settings are differing here? Is it a setting in the Facebook Messenger app, the Facebook settings in iOS, or a setting on the actual Facebook page? She's on a 3Gs AT&T.
posted by sourwookie to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The pop-ups are known in iPhone parlance as "push notifications" and your girlfriend can enable them via the "Settings" for applications that use them. For Facebook, it's in the iPhone settings under "Facebook." Push notifications aren't counted as text messages by AT&T.
posted by girlstyle at 6:56 AM on September 22, 2011

For her- the setting is in the notification area. In there is a setting for Facebook, allow sounds and alerts, badges if you want the number on top of the app icon.

For you, I'm not positive but I would imagine that if you have text notifications turned off, then fb shouldn't be texting you. The push notification (what you are using) goes completely through data. But to be sure, try it for a day and then look at your real-time charges (or call AT&T if you can't see it online for some reason).
posted by yb2006shasta at 7:00 AM on September 22, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm on a MMS blackout now (FB Messenger only) for the next hour or so, then comparing my MMS tally in the MyATT app.
posted by sourwookie at 7:03 AM on September 22, 2011

For what it's worth, Google Voice lets you use actual text messaging and counts toward your data plan, not your text plan.
posted by mikeh at 7:54 AM on September 22, 2011

For you, I'm not positive but I would imagine that if you have text notifications turned off, then fb shouldn't be texting you.
Agreed. The texting notifications are for people without access to the facebook mobile app. You only need one or the other.

A different money saving option would be to look for a feature called "Messaging Unlimited with Mobile to Any Mobile Calling." Yes, it is exactly what it says it is. For $20, you get unlimited text (and mms, I assume) and unlimited voice minutes between your phone and any other mobile phone, any carrier.

Switching to that pretty much saved $20 a month. (IE, old bill was $80, new bill is $60)
posted by gjc at 9:25 AM on September 22, 2011

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