Why is a Page of Message 160 Characters?

  21 August 2015

You must have observed that a page of message on SmartSMSSolutions is a maximum of 160 characters. Well, it might interest you to know that this isn’t peculiar to this platform but is a standard everywhere. Here is how we come to have 160 characters as a standard for a page of SMS.


It all started in the year 1985. A year earlier, SMS concept was developed by a German Engineer named Frieldhelm Hillebrand who works for GSM, but it was in this year, 1985 that the standard for a page of SMS was set.

Frieldhelm Hillebrand did some experiments in that year to determine the length of message. It was a general consensus that a message must be short but the standard length was yet to be ascertained.

Frieldhelm Hillebrand was at his house that day and was typing out random sentences at home on his personal computer. When he was done, he counted every letter, punctuations and numbers typed out and realized they are always 160 characters or less, and that was how the limit was decided.

Because lots of persons though opposed to his choice, Frieldhelm did further tests to confirm the suitability of the number of characters he has chosen. He got some random postcards that people sent and realized they were less than 160 characters. The same also applied for telex sent by random persons. Thus he discovered people were already used to sending short messages and as such the 160 characters mark will be fitting.

Over the years, this standard has been adopted for use and that has also been a basis for Twitter’s 140 characters mark, with the remaining characters for the user’s address.

So that is why a page of message is 160 characters. It’s a standard.

Do you have a long message you want to send though and want to keep it in the 160 characters mark? Use of acronyms can suffice. See here how to optimize the page of message using acronyms.

Don’t have a bulk SMS account? Sign up now and get free SMS units instantly.

Hope this information on why a page of SMS is 160 characters helped. Share your opinions with us in the comment box below.





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