SMS long code vs short code: What is the difference?

SMS long code vs short code: What is the difference?


The answer to the question about SMS long code vs short code depends entirely on what you plan to use it for. Here is some basic information to help with the decision:

Short Code

  • Typically reserved for businesses
  • 5 to 6 digit numbers
  • Nation specific
  • Carriers nationwide check and approve keywords and short codes
  • Once pre-authorized, messages never blocked
  • Longer setup and deployment
  • Cannot send unless contacts personally opted in by sending keyword to short code
  • 135 characters max

Long Code

  • Typically reserved for person to person communication
  • 10 digit numbers
  • Nation-specific
  • Carriers assign at time of phone line purchase, don't use for business communications
  • Can block messages from mass sends or spam to protect SMS users
  • Short setup and deployment
  • Can be suspended for heavy traffic
  • Can be sent to anyone at any time (should be opted in anyway, may be subject to anti-spam laws)
  • 140 characters max

SMS long code vs short code: Which is better?

Having access to a short code, even a shared one, means that you are able to send out mass SMS messages without the risk of being blocked by telecommunications carriers in your target area. It also allows you to perform functions like contests and signups much quicker. Short codes are commonly used, and bring with them a pattern that is easier for customers to remember than typical long code phone numbers. It's also one more thing that will make your brand memorable, as you try out new and creative uses for your short code. For that matter, customers who have submitted their contact information to your organization could even, for example, order pizza by texting to a short code instead of calling. There are lots of possibilities.

For more information on SMS long code vs short code, and how you can go about getting one with SimplyCast, talk to our sales team at or by calling our customer care team at 866-323-6572. Contact us here if you have any more questions about the SimplyCast application, or how you can use a short code for sales strategies and more!

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