Messente avatar logo

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.

How we do it: Supporting a culture of growth

14 Nov 2017

Recently, I’ve had several discussions about company culture. And here’s a common question: How do you build a culture that supports growth and create a workplace that everyone’s happy being part of?

Lauri Kinkar

Lauri Kinkar

This is an opportunity. Take advantage of it.

07 Nov 2017

In today’s world, it feels like the technology changes faster than we can keep up. As technology becomes even more ingrained in our lives, it’s obvious, that for our own good, regulations need to evolve as well. And it’s extremely important that business owners and leaders understand new regulations to adapt in the best way possible.

Raili Liiva

Raili Liiva

Scrub customer databases and make SMS more effective

31 Oct 2017

It’s often that we are asked, “what is your average delivery rate in (fill in the blank) country?” People usually expect an answer like, “98%.” Yet cost efficiency and SMS conversion is more important than a percentage number; without context it doesn’t mean anything.

The more important question pertains to how delivery rates are calculated. Let’s point out that there are mobile operators in some countries that do not send delivery reports, or if they do, they are unreliable. Is the delivery rate statistic based on messages sent and the number of messages that received a “delivered" status? That is the most common and brutally simplified way to calculate delivery rate. First of all, in fact, it is best practice to start with clarifying whether or not the mobile number databases contain phone numbers that are deliverable.

Margus Sütt

Margus Sütt

Start sending messages to

for € N/A

Contact us