Message Character Count

SMS messages have a 160-character limit per text, but you can still send and receive messages that are over 160 characters.

How Does That Work?

We use a process called Truncating, which allows users to send SMS messages over 160 characters. When a user composes a message that goes over the 160-character limit, their message is broken into multiple SMS messages known as Segments. Truncating combines these segments automatically, so the multiple messages will send as one continuous message.


We do this for continuity. Most people think one long message looks better than splicing up the message into multiple segments. Most (not all) mobile carriers follow this same process of Truncating messages. For example, if you send a message that has 200 characters, it will send as two text Segments, but display as one message.


Sending Multiple Messages

Sending multiple messages that have been truncated together has additional data requirements. As a result, the first message you send will always have a 160-character limit, but any additional message after the first reduces each text’s maximum character limit to 153. This means a message that you want to count as no more than three text messages would have a maximum character count of 459, not 480. 

Multiple Texts Character Count Example

Emojis, Location Requests, and Attachments

Using an emoji changes the way your message is encoded, reducing your character count from a max of 160 down to 70. Each emoji also counts as 2 characters in a text message. This means you could send a single text message with a max of 35 emojis if you had no other characters in the message (we don’t recommend this). 

Emoji Character Count Example

Adding a Location Request to a text message generates a link for your Contact to click on. This link always adds 25 characters—which is important to note in case your word count is close to hitting two texts instead of one. Our character counter will help you track this.

Locations Character Count Example

Any Attachment you add to a message immediately adds a text to your total text message count. For example, if you type a message that is 123 characters long, but add an attachment to that message, then the entire message will count as two texts. 

Attachment Character Count Example

Learn more about these features by visiting the Help Center:


Exceeding the Maximum Character Count

Each Text Request text can be a maximum of 160 characters, with a maximum of 10 segments per overall message. This gives an absolute maximum of 1600 characters per overall message. If you start to approach that maximum, or even exceed it, Text Request will alert you in the character counter of the message.

Nearing 1600 Characters

Character Counter Close Message

Over 1600 Characters

Character Counter Over Message

Opt-Out Notice

Note that every time you text a Contact for the first time, an opt-out notice will automatically be attached to the end of the message. This notice is Text STOP to opt-out and is 22 characters long. This means it will add 22 characters to your overall message. If you want only one text counted toward your usage, you need to account for this opt-out notice by keeping the rest of your message at 138 characters.