How long can a text message be?

Navigating the intricacies of SMS character limits is key to successful text messaging campaigns. This article sheds light on the limitations of SMS messaging, including the handling of messages that exceed the standard character count, and provides strategies for effective communication.

How It Works:

  • Standard Character Limit: Each SMS message can contain up to 160 characters.
  • Segmentation of Messages: Messages exceeding 160 characters are split into multiple segments, each up to 153 characters, allowing for seamless reassembly upon receipt.
    • Message Splitting: An example of splitting includes a 161-character message being divided into one segment of 153 characters and another with 8 characters.
  • Handling Oversized Messages: In certain scenarios, messages that are significantly over the 160-character limit may not be sent at all. This is a precaution to prevent incomplete or fragmented communication.
    • Recommendation for Oversized Messages: To ensure delivery and maintain the integrity of your message, consider manually dividing your content into separate texts, each within the character limit.

Quick Notes:

  • Stay within the 160-character limit to ensure your SMS messages are sent successfully and received as intended.
  • Be aware that segmented messages could result in multiple charges since each segment is considered a separate SMS.
  • For content-rich communications that exceed the character limit, strategize by dividing your message into multiple texts to avoid delivery issues.
  • For additional guidance on managing character limits and effectively structuring your SMS messages, refer to the More Information section on character limits in SMS messaging.


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