Are Short Codes a Thing of the Past?
Do you receive promotional text short code messages on your phone? Then you might have wondered what those short telephone numbers are. Those petite phone numbers are five-to-six-digit short codes mainly used to send and receive marketing and promotional messages.
What is a Text Short Code?
Since the advent of mobile technology, marketers and entrepreneurs have been sending promotional text messages to their preferred customers. The reason why text short codes became so popular is that they normally bypass the spam filters, unlike the long codes or full digit phone numbers that run the risk of being marked as spam. Short codes are not only pre-approved by carriers for higher throughput, but they are an ideal method for sending time-sensitive bulk messages. They are mainly used for sending promotional messages, alerts, and notifications as well as two-factor authentication.
Also, note that there are essentially two types of text short codes namely shared and dedicated. Both types are ideal for sending messages, but the shared short codes pose some security risks. Due to these risks and other factors, the short codes are now on the verge of elimination. In the next section, let us look at the reasons behind their elimination.
Why are Short Codes Being Eliminated?
In October 2018, the leading wireless carrier AT&T announced that it will stop activating and supporting new shared short codes immediately. This made other carriers follow suit and most major carriers are now set to eliminate the use of shared short codes soon. Here are the key reasons behind this elimination:
- Spam Prevention: This is one of the major reasons for the text short code eradication. According to recent surveys, spam calls and messages reached their peak in the past few years affecting millions of people.
- Short Code Reliability: Whenever spam is detected by carriers, entire short codes are blocked which affects legitimate businesses who might have unknowingly shared their short code with a spammer. Elimination of short codes will force businesses to purchase and run their short codes instead of sharing them with others.
- Improvements in 10DLC Numbers: The 10DLC or 10-digit long code messages have come a long way in terms of improvement and innovation. The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) has now approved the usage of these long digit numbers for A2P (application to person) enterprise messaging.
What to Do Next?
If your business depends on promotional messages you might be wondering how to safeguard your business. The good news is that most subscribers can keep using their shared text short codes as there is no exact deadline for their discontinuation, but to avoid interruptions, it is advisable to switch to at least a dedicated short code for now. Also, plan to readily switch over to the 10-digit numbers once the wireless carriers enable A2P messaging. This step is crucial if you want to ensure staying in touch with your most valuable customers.
References and Citations
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