Given the widespread usage of abbreviations in text messages and on social media, you need to be fully aware of them to keep up with the advancements of the digital world.
According to a survey, about 20% of smartphone users have a daily screen time of around 4.5 hours, indicating the high number of text messages exchanged among the users.
It is a matter of routine now that we come across a unique acronym every day that makes us wonder what it exactly means and how it can be used.
Out of curiosity, we are compelled to google it or ask a friend to figure the enigma out and to learn more about it.
The text abbreviation pool is expanding rapidly with more and more acronyms and short forms being added to it on a regular basis.
Text slang keeps changing with each generation and for us to stay relevant it is important to keep abreast of all the new abbreviations.
Even companies around the globe have changed their pattern of SMS marketing by incorporating text acronyms in their messages for staying in line with the modern-day texting style.
The list of abbreviations and acronyms mentioned in the following section of this article might prove helpful in letting you know about the ones you never came across earlier.
Common text messaging abbreviations
So the list seems never-ending and it is impossible to write down the entire abbreviation pool however, here I am mentioning some of the commonly used acronyms in regular conversations that probably most of you know and use in your text messages too.
However, these abbreviations are not governed by the standard grammatical rules and language academics as they are created for convenience only.
Well if you haven’t come across some of them before this, you can learn them now.
Text Abbreviations list
- LOL: Laughing out loud
- ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing
- BRB: Be right back
- BTW: By the way
- TBH: To be honest
- TTYL: Talk to you later
- OOTD: Outfit of the day
- IMO: In my opinion
- IDK: I don’t know
- IDC: I don’t care
- TBA: To be announced
- TBD: To be decided
- LMK: Let me know
- NVM: Nevermind
- TBF: To be frank
- RN: Right now
- ILY: I love you
- IMY: I miss you
- ASAP: As soon as possible
- NP: No problem
- DIY: Do it yourself
- TY: Thank you
- TIA: Thank you in advance
- JK: Just kidding
- NBD: No big deal
- OMG: Oh my God
- OMW: On my way
- FYI: For your information
- YOLO: You only live once
- IRL: In real life
- MU = Miss You
- NFM = Not For Me
- NSFL = Not Safe For Life
- NTS = Note To Self
- IMHO: In my humble opinion
- OTB = Off To Bed
- OT = Off-Topic
- OTOH = On The Other Hand
- OTP = On The Phone
- OTT = Over The Top
- PAW = Parents Are Watching
- PCM = Please Call Me
- PLS = Please
- POV = Point Of View
- PPL = People
- PTB = Please Text Back
- PTMM = Please Tell Me More
- LOTI = Laughing On The Inside
- LTNS = Long Time No See
- LYLAS = Love You Like A Sister
- LYSM = Love You So Much
- MC = Merry Christmas
- SMH = Shaking My Head
- SOL = Sooner Or Later
- SRSLY = Seriously
- SRY = Sorry
- SSDD = Same Stuff, Different Day
- STBY = Sucks To Be You
- TBD: To be decided
- TBA: To be announced
Why is there a need to use abbreviations in texts?
Using abbreviations in texts have become quite prevalent in the digital arena as far as communication is concerned.
Previously, sending and receiving text was a costly process, and given the standard telephone keypad it was an arduous task to write texts, the reason why texting abbreviations started to evolve for the sake of convenience.
Today the list is a bit long with countless acronyms and abbreviations in it and the number continues to grow which seems like an incessant process now.
The more you use them, the more up to date and modern you are perceived by others.
Moreover, it has become more of a culture than anything else and is considered a standard for gauging someone’s cognizance about the latest trends, especially among youngsters as abbreviations are a prominent element in their texts.
It is not redundant to say that text abbreviations have grown to a point where they can be regarded as a whole new language. The quicker you learn, the more relevant you are.
People who are not aware or use less of these acronyms are considered old-fashioned.
Another reason why people prefer using slang, abbreviations, and acronyms while texting is character limitation but predominantly its expansion can be attributed to the younger generation that considers using them fascinating.
In addition, using short forms helps in keeping the texts concise while saving time, making it an easy process.
Till 2017, one tweet was limited to 140 characters so the user had a task to convey the message in a precise manner with fewer words. However, the limit has now been extended to almost 280 characters.
Besides, the hashtag culture on social media has a contributing role to play in increasing the number of abbreviations. A person establishes an abbreviation in response to an event, incident, happening etc which is further used by people to highlight it paving way for a new trend on the internet with more and more social media users following it.
Text messaging abbreviations also serve the purpose of the code language ensuring person to personal privacy on social media and in other general text message conversations.
One of the assumptions is that most of the abbreviations emerged because teens intended to hide their private chats from parents. And the following examples of abbreviations favour the premise without any doubt.
- PAW: Parents are watching
- PITR: Parent in the room
- PBB: Parent behind back
- POMS: Parent over my shoulder
- KPC: Keeping parents clueless
- PAH: Parent at home
Seems like today the parents are equally informed of the abbreviations and use them frequently in their texts too.
Types of Abbreviations:
Abbreviations are basically short forms that are made either by reducing the word by omitting the letters in between or by using the initials of a phrase giving rise to an acronym.
The process in which an acronym is formed is referred to as initialization and the examples of it include LOL (laughing out loud) and TTYL (Talk to you later).
These are employed to minimize the effort and time that go into writing texts.
On the other hand, in the case of reduction, a word like ‘tomorrow’ can be written as ‘tmrw’. You can see here the word has been shortened by eliminating the letters in between in a way that it still is understandable.
The example below shows how conversations today take place in text messages with a lot of abbreviations and short versions of the words.
Abbreviations used for marketing:
Today businesses of all types are incorporating abbreviations into their text message campaign for attracting and engaging their customers.
It is important for every business to learn and integrate text abbreviations for keeping up with today’s communication style.
If you come across abbreviations that tend to perplex you every time, the following list will help you figure out the common abbreviations used in a business.
Some of the commonly used abbreviations in marketing messages are as follows:
- UGC: User-generated content
- SMS: Short Message Service
- MMS: Multimedia messaging service
- RCS: Rich Communication Service
- CTR: Click-through rate
- 5G: 5th generation, meaning the newest generation of mobile communications
- ABM: Account based marketing
- AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action
- B2B: Business to business
- CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost
- CPR: Cost per click
- LTV: Lifetime value
- SM: Social media
- VOD: Video on demand
- EOD: End of day
- TYSM: Thank you very much
- WIP: Work in Progress
- BAU: Business as usual
- CTA: Call to Action
- ASAP: As soon as possible
Here are examples of how abbreviations fit accurately in the body of the text message for marketing purpose as well as informing the customer:
TYVM for purchasing from our fall collection! We hope to see you soon again.
Good morning! Our 50% off offer on the entire stock will remain valid till EOD. See you at our mall outlets!
Dear valued customer, it has been raining since the morning but it is BAU for us and stores will remain open to welcome you!
These are a few examples that will help you use a text abbreviation to establish an effective rapport with your customers when sending bulk text messages.
How abbreviations in marketing can play an effective role?
Texting for marketing is an effective way to reach out to your customers and create more awareness about your brand.
Given the trend, businesses have also begun to adopt the language of abbreviations and acronyms for making sense with the rapidly changing times.
They are especially helpful when you intend to keep your texts brief considering the character limit, or when you are using very common abbreviations that are not needed to be written out.
Using an abbreviation in the right way can also help you break through to consumers and speak to them in a natural and casual way which will also make your customers feel at comfort.
However, using abbreviations in your business texts does not mean to breach the basic code of conduct and decorum that need to be maintained well while reaching out to your valued customers.
The challenge is not to deviate from the texting etiquette while using the abbreviations. Remember always to sound professional.
Things to consider while using abbreviations in marketing:
Here are a few tips that will help you use text abbreviations correctly while reaching out to your customers in an effective manner.
#1. Keep texts simple and comprehensible:
Be very careful while writing text messages that is targeted at your potential customers. Try to use the abbreviations that are common and easy to be understood.
On the contrary, using an abbreviation that is not commonly used will undermine the effectiveness of the text sent to your customer so always try to keep the text simple and precise that your customers can instantly connect with.
#2.Keep your professionalism intact:
Conveying your tone through the text is a really difficult task to perform so try avoiding the usage of abbreviations that could be offensive to anyone or are informal to an extent that makes your text sound non-professional.
Try not to use words other than the family-friendly slang.
#3. Add media to make texts look attractive:
Never forget to add interesting media for capturing the attention of your customer. For example, you can add a GIF if you are sending them a TGIF appetizer special etc.
#4. Be sure of what you are writing:
If you are ever in a doubt, refrain from using abbreviations as it may have a negative impact on your audience.
Always write suitable abbreviations that you have complete knowledge of.
Also, you need to fully understand your audience too to be able to use abbreviations correctly.
#5. Do not overload your texts with abbreviations:
Never make your text full of abbreviations that seems more like a code to decipher than a text.
Using one or two well placed abbreviations in the entire text is probably the safest option to go by.
#6. Avoid making mistakes and usage of out-dated abbreviations:
Avoid using abbreviations that are no longer in vogue as it’s going to put your audience off.
Always be sure of what you are using because in the professional arena, the room for mistakes is very less and a slight mistake can induce unwanted consequences for your business.
Almost everyday a new set of abbreviations emerges that becomes the trend with a lot of people using them in text messages as well as on social media.
The abbreviations and acronyms in the texts have given birth to a complete new language that is broadly referred to as ‘textese’ now.
Textese is a form of digital communication that constitutes abbreviations, acronyms and shortened versions of the words.
The language is however not bound to follow standard grammar, spellings and punctuation.
Most importantly, the usage of abbreviations in the texts does have undeniable benefits from saving time to making typing a less laborious task.
From general conversations to business communication the text language is all about abbreviations at the present age.
Moreover, these abbreviations play an important role when it comes to communication between a business and its valued customers.
It gives the company a chance to speak casually to its customers putting the brand in higher esteem in the customer’s eyes.
Also, it creates a sense of comfort among the two while keeping the communication strong and effective.