Tuesday 5 May 2009

Who Set The 160 Character Limit For SMS Messages?

160 characters seems a rather arbitrary limit, but according to the LA Times article Why text messages are limited to 160 characters, a lot of research went into this.

When the SMS standard was agreed, network bandwidth was was expensive, so uncapped messages would have cost too much and all the carriers agreed to a limit.

Three things helped them determine the 160 characters

  1. Typing out random sentences always seemed to come in around 160 characters
  2. Postcards often had less than 150 characters
  3. Telex messages also only had 15o characters
From this they surmised that a message could be communicated in 160 characters or less

1 comment:

Matthew said...

So why did Twitter lower the number to 140?