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Send MMS with Google Voice: Key limitations

Google Voice send MMS

Can Google Voice send MMS?

Yes — with limitations.

Let’s look at Google Voice’s restrictions for MMS support and other texting issues you should keep in mind. If you’re looking for a VoIP provider that can help you send multimedia messages with more robust features, we’ll introduce another option starting at $15 per user per month.

How does sending MMS with Google Voice work?

Google Voice send MMS: Example of an image received by a Google Voice number

Google Voice supports MMS on both its free and paid plans. However, texting is only available to customers in the US.

If you’re based in the US, Google Voice lets you add the following media formats to a new message: 

  • .jpg (pictures)
  • .png (pictures)
  • .gif (moving pictures)

Google Voice doesn’t support sending MMS messages that contain:

  • Word documents
  • PDFs
  • Music
  • Videos

If you want to attach and send any of the above, you’ll need to use an alternative to Google Voice. However, you can also use a workaround mentioned by support — although it’s not recommended. 

First, you upload content to your Google Drive and set the visibility rules to your liking. Then, you can copy/paste the link into the Google Voice app and send it to your customers. This doesn’t look professional from a business perspective and can confuse your customers. It may also get you blocked (more on this later).

Other MMS limitations to Google Voice depend on the plan you’re using:

  • If you’re on the free plan, Google Voice doesn’t let you copy and send messages to other contacts — a function that’s available on better business phone platforms.
  • Free plan users have a strict texting limit and can’t send more than their allotted amount per day. However, Google Voice doesn’t post the exact amount anywhere online, so all you can do is tread carefully.
  • Your team can’t send MMS messages in Google Voice to more than seven people in a group. Going over this limit could get your account suspended.

There are also file size restrictions to keep in mind. If you attach a photo greater than 2 MB, Google Voice condenses it into a smaller file. This could lower the quality of your image and make it harder to read. You also can’t send GIFs over 2 MB. 

To summarize: you can send MMS messages from Google Voice if they’re small pictures and GIFs. However, your team needs a more comprehensive solution if you’re trying to send videos, documents, or larger files.

What other texting limits does Google Voice have? 

Google Voice significantly limits your ability to send MMS messages.

However, their tools for SMS messaging come with several limitations as well.

Here’s what you need to know:

Not able to text to non-US or Canadian numbers

Your team can only send a text or picture messages to customers with a US or Canadian phone number. There’s no way to contact clients overseas or callers who moved to the US and kept their international numbers.

Google Voice provides no communication if you get blocked in some cases

As mentioned earlier, Google Voice for personal and business use both have a maximum limit for SMS and MMS messages. The trouble is, there’s no way to know what that limit is — or whether or not you’ve even been blocked.

Your Google Voice account may be temporarily blocked from calling or sending messages if you send: 

  • An unspecified amount of Google Voice messages in a short period of time 
  • A message containing any URL (yes, including Google Drive links)
  • The same text message to multiple recipients, especially if those messages don’t receive replies

If you get blocked, you may just need to wait 24 hours to get access again, according to Google Voice. Otherwise, you receive an email informing you of your suspension and can write an appeal to unlock your account. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee you can save your account.

Texting delays after porting

Want to port your existing number into Google Voice? Your team may want to prepare for delays. If you recently paid to move your Google Voice number (which is $20 on the free plan), your texts may not work until after the transfer finishes — which may take three business days or more.

Just look at these recent reviews:

“Two weeks ago I requested my mobile number to be ported so I could replace my automatically assigned Google Voice number. This was supposed to take 2 – 3 days. But the porting has still not happened.” Google Support

“I put in a request to port a number from ATT Mobile to Google Voice. The charge went through on November 1. When you call the number you get a busy signal; the port is not yet complete through Google. I have been in limbo for at least two days and people do not have a way to get in touch with me.”Google Support

No auto-replies

You’re not always around to pick up the phone— but you want customers to know you’re eager to answer their questions. Auto-replies allow you to text your contacts even while off the clock and let them know you’ll be back to answer their questions at a specific date or time.

But Google Voice doesn’t offer auto-replies and doesn’t plan to include them in the future. If you’re a small business owner looking to maximize your time, texting through Google Voice may not be a good fit.

There’s a lot to unpack with Google Voice’s limitations — but unfortunately, there are more restrictions with Voice you should be aware of if you’re using or thinking of subscribing to the platform.

Let’s take a look at six other limitations that make Google Voice less efficient than its competitors.

6 other major limitations to Google Voice 

You can see Google Voice’s texting features are limited at best. Texting on the free plan was built for personal use only. Plus, the business plan doesn’t offer international texting and doesn’t come with automations.

But that’s not the end of Google Voice’s limitations. Unfortunately, there are several others that can impact your business, even if you’re not using its texting features.

Let’s look at these below:

1. Automatically forwarding incoming messages is limited

Want to forward voicemail transcriptions or text messages to your email account? You can — but only to the account you used to sign up for Google Voice. If you used your Gmail to make a GV account but want to forward messages to your Outlook business email, your only option is to make another account.

2. No options to automate specific touchpoints

Google Voice users don’t have any ways to automate repetitive tasks or streamline tedious jobs. For example, you can’t have a text go out automatically every time someone fills out a form on your website. You’re also unable to create message templates to answer customers quickly. Most disappointingly, your team can’t use third-party integrations to connect the tools you already use.

Speaking of integrations. . .

4. No integrations outside of Google’s ecosystem 

Google Voice only connects with other Google products. You can integrate with Google Drive, Hangouts, Calendar, and Email, but your team can’t access mission-critical platforms like Salesforce, HubSpot, or Slack. This means you can’t connect your tech stack or push data to your favorite platforms, making it harder for your team to follow up on conversations or find context when needed.

3. Call, texts, and voice messages live in separate inboxes

Google Voice MMS: Inboxes in Google Voice being separate folders for calls, messages, and voice messages

All phone calls, voicemails, and text messages are separated into different inboxes. You can’t see all your customer’s interactions in the same place, which means your teammates have to gather up their communications from different inboxes piece by piece.

5. No desktop app

Both plans for Google Voice come with mobile and web apps. However, there’s no desktop app available for users who want to customize their calling experience. Your team must either work directly from a cell phone (iPhone or Android) — or eat up RAM with an open tab on their browser.

6. No toll-free numbers

You can’t buy or manage toll-free numbers through Google Voice. If you have an existing toll-free number, you can’t port it into the system.

Send MMS easily and get a more scalable business phone solution with OpenPhone 

Alternative to sending MMS through Google Voice: OpenPhone mobile and desktop apps

Google Voice is an acceptable messaging app if you just want to text your friends and family. However, it doesn’t have the bandwidth to support business MMS — or the modern features you need to grow as a brand.

Thankfully, Google Voice isn’t the only messaging service available to small business owners. Today, thousands of growing teams and solopreneurs have turned to the #1 business phone platform on G2 — OpenPhone.

Here’s why companies trust OpenPhone to send MMS messages to customers:

  • You can make unlimited calls and texts to anyone in the US or Canada — and from anywhere with a WiFi connection. Each user comes with one local US, Canadian, or North American toll-free number.
  • OpenPhone works on the devices you’re already using. You can download our browser, desktop, or mobile phone app without having to buy new hardware.
  • You can send MMS messages faster with OpenPhone. Unlike Google Voice, you can copy and paste photos from one conversation to the next. You can also type /gif to find and send GIFs without keeping them on local storage. And since you can attach videos, documents, spreadsheets, and other files you want, you never need to worry about workarounds through Google Drive.
  • With OpenPhone, you can customize auto-replies on every plan and any number. You don’t have to pay extra to add them to your plan, and you don’t have to upgrade to a higher tier for access. Instead, all you have to do is log into your admin portal and set up auto-replies on your preferred number.
  • If you want all your team members to work together from the same number, you can use shared numbers to split responsibility for incoming calls and messages. You can even create comments that are visible only to your team to collaborate and tag teammates to follow up with someone. 
  • All calls, text, and voice messages with your contact are in single threads in the OpenPhone app, so your teammates can easily review a conversation and follow up faster. Every point of communication between you and your contacts is searchable on your phone, computer, or tablet.
  • We offer multiple texting automations to save time while sending messages, including auto-replies, scheduled messages, and snippets. With scheduled messages, your team can queue up texts to your customers’ time zones so you’re not reaching out at an inconvenient time. You can also use snippets to build reusable message templates and answer FAQs more consistently.
  • You can save time and give your team more context by automatically logging call recordings and text messages in your CRM. We offer native integrations with Salesforce and HubSpot so you can sync contact data without downloading a CSV. You can also use Zapier and webhooks to connect to other CRMs, including 5,000+ other apps that can connect to your business phone.

OpenPhone is the easiest way to send MMS messages as a small business owner — and the best solution for growing teams who want to build better relationships with their customers.

But don’t take our word for it — why not try it yourself?

Sign up for our seven-day free trial to start sending MMS today.

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