SMS character limit

WellnessLiving uses Twilio to send SMS messages. Twilio uses the GSM-7 SMS format to limit the length of a message to 160 characters. If your message is longer than 160 characters, it will be sent as a multipart message. You can send a multipart message up to 1530 characters long (153 characters per message up to 10 messages). On modern phones, these multipart messages are combined into one message when delivered to the recipient, but standard rates per message will still apply in accordance with your subscription plan.

For example, if you max out the character limit and send a message that’s 1530 characters (10 messages) long, it will display as a single message for the recipient if they have a modern smartphone but will count as 10 SMS messages towards your subscription plan. For more information, see Twilio Docs and the Twilio Help Center.

For the best user experience, it’s recommended to keep your messages to 320 characters or fewer.

When entering your SMS message, check the Messages indicator below the SMS TEXT box to see how many SMS text messages will be necessary to send the entire message. You can also check the Characters remaining indicator to see how many more characters you can enter in total.

When using Message Center, keep the following information in mind as it can affect the character count of your SMS message:

  • Twilio will automatically encode your messages in the most compact encoding possible. In some cases, messages will be encoded in UCS-2 in place of GSM-7, which reduces the character limit from 160 to 80 characters. For more information, see Twilio Docs.
    • Avoid using emojis in your SMS message. When Twilio detects an emoji in the SMS message, the encoding is automatically changed to Unicode and the length of the message will be limited to 70 characters. For more information, see Twilio Help Center.
  • If you include an SMS variable in your SMS message, the result of the variables will be different from the variable name, which affects the character count of your SMS message.
    • For example, if your business name is Testing123, the variable [BusinessName], which is 14 characters long, will be replaced with Testing123, which is 10 characters long.
  • If you include a URL in your SMS message, it’ll automatically get shortened to use fewer SMS characters.

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