The Reason For the 160 Character Text Message and 140 Character Twitter Length Limits

The Los Angeles Times has a great story that tells us…

Why text messages are limited to 160 characters

I’ve wondered about that 160 character limit but never thought to learn why that number was chose (as opposed to something like 255 for example). The article explains how Friedhelm Hillebrand (working for German Telecom) decided upon the number after some informal tests of simply typing a bunch of sample sentences.

The article also explains that Twitter’s 140 character limit comes from SMS text messaging’s 160 character limit. Twitter reserves 20 characters for a unique user address and leaves the rest (140) for the tweet.

As always, you can find me on Twitter at: @toddogasawara

Related Stories
Mediabistro Course

Email Marketing

Email MarketingStarting January 12, learn how to create campaigns that engage subscribers, increase awareness, and drive traffic and sales! In this course, you'll learn how to create effective email campaigns to meet your company's goals and objectives, develop copywriting and design techniques, create and manage distribution lists, and more! Register now!