Understanding the SMS Character Limit

SMS Character Limit
Table of Contents

What is the Standard SMS Text Character Limit

What is the Unicode Character Limit for SMS Messages

How To Make The Most of SMS’s 160 Character Limit

Top Tips To Stay Within SMS text Character Limit

It can be super frustrating when you have a lot to say but are limited to only a few words or characters. It feels like your thoughts and feelings are being compressed into this tiny little space, and it's just not enough. It's hard to be concise, and sometimes, you just have to accept that you can't say everything you want to say in such a small text.

Now, imagine how difficult it would be for businesses to compose short messages when there’s so much to say. But don’t fret—we’re here to help you make the most of 160 characters.

What is the Standard SMS Text Character Limit

The standard GSM character limit is 160 characters. The SMS character limit was originally set so that a single SMS could fit into a single GSM data packet. The character limit for SMS was decided by the GSM Association, which is the trade body that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.

This allowed for a simple and easy way to send text messages without having to worry about fragmentation. The reason for this is that SMS messages are sent as individual text messages, and each message can only contain a certain number of characters.

What is the Unicode Character Limit for SMS Messages

While the SMS character limit is 160, Unicode has a different limit—you may only type up to 70 characters. Unicode is a standard for encoding characters so that they can be used on a variety of devices and platforms.

The Unicode character limit for SMS is different from GSM because SMS is a different type of messaging system than GSM.

SMS is designed to be a more efficient way of sending messages, and as such, it has a different limit on the number of characters that can be sent in a message. This limit to 70 is in place to ensure that SMS messages can be sent and received quickly and without error.

Does SMS Character Limit Include Spaces

Single text messages may only have a character length of 160, including spaces, if they are sent using the GSM 03.38 character set. An SMS message can have up to 918 characters, including spaces.

How To Make The Most of SMS’s 160 Character Limit

1. Keep it Brief

A text message is typically read within a few seconds, so it’s important to get your point across quickly and concisely. If you look up any text marketing tips, all of them will urge you to keep it brief.

2. Use Key Phrases and Abbreviations

When you’re limited to 160 characters, every word counts. Choose your words wisely, and take advantage of commonly used abbreviations. Dexatel provides a guide with over 2000 text abbreviations to help you out.

3. Be Creative

With such a short limit, it’s important to be creative with your wording. Think outside the box and use your imagination to get your message across in a fun and unique way.

4. Use Emojis

Emojis are a great way to add personality and emotion to your text messages. Use them sparingly, however, as too many can be overwhelming and difficult to decipher.

5. Keep it Positive

SMS is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, so make sure your messages are upbeat. No one wants to read a long, depressing message when they’re trying to relax.

Top Tips To Stay Within SMS text Character Limit

1. Use Contractions Wherever Possible

In written English, contractions are very common. They are used in speech and informal writing. Contractions are not used in formal writing. But since SMS is a direct and personal form of communication, they will help you connect with your audience as well as save you space.

When you are texting, try to use as many contractions as possible to stay within the SMS character limit.

2. Don't Use Long Words or Sentences

Long words and sentences take up more characters, which can quickly max out the 160-character limit for SMS messages. Messages that are too long are often difficult to read and understand, so it's best to keep things short and sweet.

Using big words can make your message seem pretentious or try-hard, so it's best to stick to simple language. If you're trying to promote your business, using long words or sentences is likely to turn off potential customers. In general, it's best to avoid using long words or sentences in SMS messages, since they're more likely to result in a message that's difficult to read and understand.

3. Use Telegraphic Sentences

The telegraph was originally designed for sending information over long distances using Morse code. In business, telegraphic sentences are a way of communicating succinctly, within SMS character limits. By using telegraphic sentence structure, businesses can economize on the number of characters used and still communicate effectively.

4. Shorten Your Links

SMS character limits are in place to ensure that texts are not too long and arduous to read. By shortening their links, businesses can stay within these limits and avoid frustrating their customers. In addition, shorter links are generally more aesthetically pleasing and can be easier to remember.

5. Use SMS Templates

If you've ever had to count characters in an SMS, you know how difficult it can be to stay within the 160-character limit. And if you're a business that uses SMS to communicate with customers, you know how important it is to stay within the limit.

SMS templates help businesses stay within the character limit by providing a consistent way to format text messages. By using a template, businesses can ensure that their text messages are properly formatted and stay within the character limit.

SMS templates also help businesses save time when composing text messages. You can quickly insert the necessary information into a text message without having to worry about character counts. Overall, SMS templates are an essential tool for businesses that use text messaging to communicate with customers.