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You know all those “contest” shows on TV where viewers can text in their vote for one of the contestants? Or have you seen signs or websites for services where you can text in some word or phrase to a number (like the image to the right)? Or have you used Twitter and posted a message via SMS?
In all those cases you are using what is called in the industry a “short code”. It’s a unique number typically 4-6 digits long that is tied directly to your application – and you can get one for any Tropo application you create.
When would you want to use a short code?
- RECEIVING A LARGE VOLUME OF SMS MESSAGES – Short codes let you receive massive amounts of text messages in a short period of time… so if you are planning to use Tropo to power the next show to succeed “American Idol”, well, a short code is the best way to go.
- SENDING A LARGE VOLUME OF SMS MESSAGES – Similarly, if you want to send a large number of text messages… say for an outbound notification service… a short code lets you send basically an unlimited number of messages, whereas regular SMS-enabled phone numbers do have rate restrictions placed on them by carriers.
- YOU WANT AN EASY-TO-REMEMBER NUMBER – If you are mounting a campaign where you want to promote a text-based service to people, a short code will be a whole lot easier for people to remember than a regular 10-digit phone number.
Given Voxeo’s longstanding connections into the telecommunications infrastructure, we provision short codes today for Tropo applications. Given that there is a very limited supply of short codes, the SMS carriers make it rather complicated to get one, but we take away that pain and help make the application process simple for you.
If you think a short code makes sense for your application, contact us via email or raise an “Account Ticket” under the “Get Help” section of Tropo and we can start working with you on getting the process started. If you’re not sure, drop us a line and we can discuss what options might work best for you.
P.S. For those of you who want more details on SMS short codes, Wikipedia has a write-up with info about short codes in different countries.
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