Alert messaging is the term used for a means of communication between a machine and a person. The data being relayed by the machine is usually of an important or time sensitive nature which gave it the term "alert." An alert message contains user-requested information or data.
Information on demand
Are you a die-hard fan of a certain singer, actor, or actress? Have you always wanted to be kept up-to date on the latest news and developments about your idol? Well, with your mobile phone, you can now receive text message alerts informing you of the latest trends, hot news, topics, and buzz going around regarding your favorite celebrity. All you need to do is subscribe to the media service that is putting out the alerts and you'll be able to instantly receive all updates posted regarding that celebrity. Be aware that this is a paid service and can cost differently for different carriers. Most text message alert service charge per alert sent, but there are also those that charge a flat rate subscription fee. There are also other that send free message alerts depending on the nature of the alerts or messages being sent.
Various ring tones or sounds can be attached to particular text message alerts. For example, you set your phone to play your favorite song if your boyfriend or girlfriend texts you a message. You can set your phone to ring or cry like a banshee if it's your mother or your teacher sending you a text message. Over the years, thousands of unique ringtones have been made, composed, uploaded, and downloaded that it'll be impossible to list all of them here. Suffice to say, there are enough choices for even the choosiest person among us.
Alert messaging system isn't only used for entertainment. It is also used by many to subscribe to news and to receive other important information they need – like business data or business correspondence. Law enforcement agencies are also using alert messaging system to disseminate early warning messages in case of emergencies or catastrophes. It is also being used to put out alerts on wanted criminals or on warning which the public should know about.
Weather updates can also be received thru text messages. This is especially helpful to people who always need updated weather information (mountaineers, ship captains, fishermen).
Unsolicited text message alerts are considered spam and is not looked kindly upon by the FCC. Most spam messages are sent out either to fish for private information from unsuspecting users or to use the alert messaging system to spread propaganda or use it as a sales tool.
To combat this, FCC has required content providers to give users the option to opt-out of the service. A better action made was to encourage opt-in services to flourish so that users only get information which they have specifically requested. To date, the FCC is actively trying to combat spam by working closely with telecom carriers and legally prosecuting spammers.