Cell phone users are conversant with short messaging services or SMS as known popularly. It has made life easier and we are able to communicate what we wish to say to any recipient all over the world.
Manufacturing companies did not stay idle providing the SMS facilities and they continued research on even shorter forms for customers and that resulted in the appearance of short codes.
What is Short Code?
The features of short code are as follows.
- Short codes are 5/6 digit telephone numbers;
- It is used to send and receive SMS and MMS using cell phones; and
- It is more convenient using in comparison to traditional SMS.
Types of Short Codes
There are two types of such codes.
- Vanity short code that consists specific set of digits selected by the user; and
- Random short code that is assigned by the code provider to the user.
Why use Short Code?
The reason for using short code as revealed by the Twilio short code service is that it can send large numbers of messages unlike the long codes. It is much more convenient for both sender and recipient saving their time and effort.
How Wireless Carriers Handle Short Codes
Traditional industries practices resorted to by the wireless carriers through whom the codes are transmitted are as follows.
- They audit every short code and the intention of the user using the same;
- Approval of the short code takes around 8 to 12 weeks of time;
- Approved short codes are exempted from carrier filtering; and
- These codes are only option for ensuring delivery of the message without carrier filtering.
Handling Short Codes
Short codes have high throughput and therefore require certain specific elements. They have to conform to the guiding regulations on using the short code programs put in place by the regulatory authorities. For instance;
- Users have to conform to specific language requirements in respect of ads, terms pages, as well as the messages;
- Interpretation of rules regulating the short codes can vary with each carrier;
- Similarly, the enforcement of these rules also vary from one carrier to another; and
- Both carriers and the authorities conduct random audit on the codes and if they do not conform to the regulatory provisions they can be shut down at any time.
In short; short codes must conform to the established industry standards.
Financial Implications on Using Short Code
An important aspect clarified by the Twilio short code is the cost factor that would be natural concern for each user. The two types of costs to consider are –
- Cost involved in leasing a short code; and
- Volume cost involved in the process of sending messages from a short code.
Regulatory Provisions Relating to Short Codes
Any short code has to be leased out from one of the national registries. The normal minimum duration would be 3 months. While most of the users find the vanity short codes easier remembering these short codes are more expensive in comparison to random codes.
Applications Best Suited to Short Codes
Short codes are especially suitable in applications like –
- Marketing communications;
- Bulk notifications created as one-to-many;
- Time sensitive alert messages; and
- Transactional notifications.
Why Short Codes are Preferred to Toll-Free SMS?
While the SMS was preferred mode of communication till recent past the short code is gradually occupying the driver’s seat at the expense of the traditional SMS services.
These two messaging services are structured on different infrastructure as well as spam filters. Even the toll-free SMS can be subjected to spam messages from time to time. The chances are drastically reduced by using short codes as alternative.
In comparison between the two the short codes score on most point excepting a couple of factors such as the absence of voice messaging and requirement of approval time by the carriers.
How to Get a Twilio Short Code
As already stated the Twilio short code revealed the nature of short codes and their handling. Users can buy the short codes from Twilio. They can also port existing short code of other brands to the Twilio platform.
The company provides all the required information on their website and such information are consistently updated as well. Users will also come to know about the regulatory provisions relating to the use of the short codes.
Messaging using Short Codes
Short codes are 5-6 digit numbers that can send as well as receive messages on cell phones. The numbers have high throughput and are tailor-made for sending messages to large numbers of recipients at any time.
That is why the short codes are considered ideal for bulk messaging and time-sensitive messages. To make it easier for the users Twilio has created a message documentation page on their website where the intending user can get all information about handling the short codes.
Facilities for Customizing Short Codes
For convenient use of the short codes by clients Twilio has also listed on their site the features and parameters of such codes created using different formats. Users are also provided with the facilities to –
- List all short codes in their accounts;
- List such codes with exact match;
- List all codes with partial match; and
- Many such facilities including updating the short code resources.
How Twilio Gives the Short Code
For delivering short codes to clients the company uses specific procedure in Twilio short code service. When a client submits application to them their professional team of experts will review the application and suggest if changes are required.
Such changes may be needed to conform to either state or carrier regulations and parameters or both. Once approved, the client can log on to their site and make payment using standard procedures.
It is also possible getting a detailed guide on timeline as revealed by the twilio short code service review that can make the process easier for users of their short codes.