The Surprising Reason Why Text Messages Are Limited To Just 160 Characters

I don’t know about you, but i’ve always though that text messages were limited to 160 characters due to some carrier technical limitations. Little did i know that tech restrictions had nothing to do with it.

The 160 character limitation exists because a German guy called Friedham Hillebrand decided that 160 was “perfectly sufficient”.

Here’s the interesting story. (the article continues after the ad) 

In 1985, Friedham Hillebrand was a telecommunications researcher working with a team that was developing a standard for mobile phones to send and receive short text messages – what was later named Short Message Service (SMS). To find out the optimal number of characters , Hillebrand sat down on his good-old typewriter and started typing random, everyday sentences.

Photo: Friedhelm Hillebrand

He then counted the number of letters, numbers spaces and punctuation marks and concluded that 160 characters was “perfectly sufficient”. Despite suggesting this number to his group though, due to reception strength limitations, messages were initially limited to 128 characters. However, after some tweaking, they were able to increase that number to 160. The standard was globally adopted by carriers and this is why SMS are limited to 160 characters!

And now you know! 

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Twitter’s Founder Jack Dorsey Reveals The Real Reason Why Tweets Are Limited To 140 Characters

Photo: Roman Pohorecki / Pexels
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Why text messages are limited to 160 characters | The Reason For the 160 Character Text Message and 140 Character Twitter Length Limits

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