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What’s the maximum length of a text message?

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The maximum length of a text message is 160 characters as long as you use standard 7 bit characters. Once you use a character that is not in the 7 bit encoding list, your maximum number of characters in a text message drops to 70.

When you write your message in the CheckMarket Survey tool you will see the number of remaining characters diminish as you type.

characters left

To help you out a bit, this article lists the characters that count as either 1 or 2 characters, as well as the ones that change your text message into a Unicode message.

7 bit encoding

The following characters all count as 1 character:

@ΔSP0¡P¿p
£_!1AQaq
$Φ2BRbr
¥Γ#3CScs
èΛ¤4DTdt
éΩ%5EUeu
ùΠ&6FVfv
ìΨ7GWgw
òΣ(8HXhx
ÇΘ)9IYiy
LFΞ*:JZjz
ØESC+;KÄkä
øÆ,<LÖlö
CRæ=MÑmñ
Åß.>NÜnü
åÉ/?O§oà

Some characters are counted as 2 characters, though. These are the following:

\n\^~[]{}
|~

As long as you use any of the characters listed above your text will be a 7 bit text and the maximum number of characters is 160.

Unicode Encoding

Unicode (UCS-2) encoding supports a greater range of characters and languages compared to very limited alphabet of 7 bit encoding.

If your message contains any characters not listed in the 7-bit alphabet above, UCS-2 encoding is automatically used. In this case, each message takes up a lot more space, thus the message length is reduced to 70 characters.

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