SlickText Help Center Article


What's the Difference Between a Short Code and a Long Code?

Found in: FAQs

Short codes are 5-6 digit numbers which have been provisioned and approved by the carriers to be used for mass texting. Short code numbers are typically shared, unlessed provision for the sole purpose of being "dedicated." Dedicated means only a single company uses the number. Shortcodes have a high sending rate, which can be throttled depending on what the owner is willing to pay.

Longcodes are 10 digit numbers with a local area code, much like a cell phone number. While long codes are not provisioned to be used for mass texting at scale, they can do so up to a limit. Once this limit is reached, message delivery is not guaranteed by the carriers. This is why SlickText recommends using one of our shared shortcodes to guarantee the highest deliery rates.

A few other pointers regarding the two options have been outlined below.


Short Codes

  • Provisioned and approved for marketing and other mass texting within the US with all the cellular providers
  • Very high send rate, as fast as 500 texts per second
  • Very easy to remember when texting in
  • Are required by law to follow all opt in, opt out, and anti spam laws
  • Used for fast mass communications
  • Large volume messaging
  • One-way notifications to users
  • SMS marketing messages can be sent

Long Codes

  • There is no provisioning process which approves numbers for marketing
  • Long codes are not approved for text marketing or mass communications within the US
  • They can easily be reported and spotted by carriers for shut down
  • The slowest ways to deliver text messages, limited to 1 message per second
  • Not required to follow text marketing laws
  • Do not support picture messaging
  • More people will view it as spam coming from a 10 digit number
  • A 10 digit number is hard to remember when looking to opt in

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