This type of multimedia file was created by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project Group of 3GPP where it also got its name – occasionally this filetype may also have the extension 3GPP. Essentially a video container format, 3GP was created as a disk space-saving alternative to other filetypes. They were meant to use less bandwidth and data usage when sharing them, especially between mobile devices.
This filetype is still the standard one used for media in MMS messages today.
How can you open 3GP files?
Almost all modern smartphones and mobile devices that support (at least) 3G connections are able to open these files natively. On computers, these files can be opened as well – with the use of a 3GP capable media player.
What programs work with 3GP files?
Many common media players have this functionality – for example, QuickTime, VLC, and MPlayer. With the FFDShow MPEG-4 Video Decoder pack, it’s also possible to view these files using the Windows Media Player.