Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Why is SMS only 160 characters?

We get asked this question all the time…when I send a bulk SMS, how come I can only send 160 characters in a text message?

SMS means Short Message Service, and was a Franco-German effort, developed in 1984 by Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert.

Part of Freidhelm’s job was to work out how many characters a text message should be. And his method was stunningly simple…he analysed postcards and telex (remember those?) messages.

His observations found that on average, most were around 150 characters, and Fred successfully argued that 160 characters was sufficient to express most text messages succinctly (source: Wikipedia).