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The ingenious 160 characters

- 5 MIN READ - 10 Dec 2013

The ingenious 160 characters

Why 160 characters?

Have you ever thought why a text message is limited to 160 characters? The reason is actually pretty simple. Back in 1985 the chairman of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) Friedhelm Hillebrand had a challenge of finding out how many characters should there be in a text message.

Friedhelm started typing out random sentences on his typewriter and found out that all the sentences ran actually under 160 characters. To back up his proposal for the GSM committee he researched huge amount of postcards and found out that most of the sentences contained fewer then 150 characters. He also analyzed Telex – telegraphy network for business professionals. Even though they didn’t have a limit on the characters Friedhelm found out that most of the messages contained approximately 150 characters as well.

Keep it simple!

Sometimes creative limitations are good!

SMS messages are more urgent, direct, and personal than email. Up-to-a-point messages provide a key element of what is actually “controversial”. SMS is comparatively simple but what really makes the difference is how it is applied. So creating an efficient SMS requires some level of mastery of the language and we believe that it’s a bit of a science. But managing it successfully will be profitable.

Here are some key benefits of SMS text messaging:

From banking to agriculture to medicine, with mobile phones continuing their massive spread through the developing world, text messaging is making bigger impacts than ever.

Margus Sütt

Margus Sütt - Key account manager

Margus works as a business analyst at Messente. Identifying new opportunities and going deep into industries Margus consults Messente's key customers to help their businesses to advance.

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