How long can a text message be?

160 characters in the U.S. and Canada is the industry-standard maximum for SMS messages across all carriers and phones.

Chris Brisson avatar
Written by Chris Brisson
Updated over a week ago

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The industry standard for text messaging is 160 characters across all carriers in U.S. and Canada.

Depending on how long your message is, you have three different sending options through Salesmsg.


Not all Text messages are created, sent, or received equally. This breakdown will help one understand the different formats available to you, their potential, their limitations, and costs.

Ever looked at these numbers in the top right corner of the message box and wondered what their significance was or what they mean as they change?

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SMS Message

This is a GSM Encoded Segment: 1-160 characters. (SMS) ο»ΏGSM Encoded Segment: 1 Credit

Here's a helpful breakdown to estimate the credit cost of a message:

  • 0 – 160 characters – 1 credit

  • 161 – 306 characters – 2 credits

  • 307 – 459 characters – 3 credits

  • 460 – 612 characters – 4 credits

  • 613 – 765 characters – 5 credits

  • 766 – 918 characters – 6 credits

  • 919 – 1,071 characters – 7 credits

  • 1,072 – 1,224 characters – 8 credits

  • 1,225 – 1,377 characters – 9 credits

  • 1,378 – 1,530 characters – 10 credits

MMS Message

MMS Segment: 1-1600 characters.(picture messages) MMS Segment: 2 Credits

UCS2 SMS Message

UCS2 Encoded Segment: 1-70 characters. (SMS messages with Emojis) UCS2 Encoded Segment: 1 Credit

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I use Message Credits for inbound messages as well as outbound?

Yes, you do.

Are message credits consumed any other ways?

Yes, they are also used for call forwarding Voice Minute: 2 Credits

I'm using message credits a lot faster than I anticipated?

This is usually because of really long messages, however, when one copy-pastes messages from other text editing platforms weird character formatting may carry over. This can cause Salesmsg to encode your message as a UCS2 SMS which will use about 2x as many message credits if you would compose your message in Salesmsg.

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