What is a “Shared Short Code” you ask? If you have a cell phone, you have seen a Shared Short Code at some point. Look at the hundreds of text messages you’ve got, go ahead, I’ll wait… Somewhere in there (unless you delete all of your texts and keep it cleaner than 99% of people) you very likely have an automated text message from a phone number with only 5 or 6 digits, for example 95577 is our Shared Short Code, err was our Shared Short Code. Normal U.S. phone numbers are 11 digits, Country Code (1), Area Code (3), Prefix (3), and Line Number (4).
Yet there are those 5 or 6 digit Short Codes that are usually from large companies sending you service or appointment reminders, or coupons for a burrito, etc.. Those Short Codes can be expensive, so many smaller companies would get together and share one Short Code.
A Shared Short Code allowed hundreds if not thousands of companies to use the same Short Code by texting a unique keyword, something like “PIZZA” to 97575, which would indicate what company you’re messaging. For example Users texting PIZZA would be placed into the pizzerias contacts/subscribers list, texting CAR would place them into the dealerships, texting HOUSE would place them into the realtors, you get the point. However, even though this method allowed many companies to have access to inexpensive texting programs by a single shared code, each company had to have their own separate opt in list of subscribers. So, that meant just because you texted PIZZA to 97575, that only allows that pizzeria to solicit to you, not the dealership and not that realtor. Well, thanks to some abusers doing massive illegal marketing campaigns, sending texts to people that never opted in, cell phone carriers have decided to put a stop to Shared Short Codes.
Trumpia, a major Short Code provider, recently stated in an email sent June 26th, 2019:
“Even before this announcement, shared short codes were at risk of a single user misusing them, leading to carriers shutting down the entire code. This would negatively impact hundreds of users because of the action of one.”
What’s does all of this mean?!?!?
Well, those huge conglomerates that could afford to have a dedicated Short Code won’t be affected at all, they can keep on using their fancy 5 digit texting number. But, for us guys that don’t want to dish out $1,000 a month for that fancy 5 digit number, we’ll be forced to use toll-free like numbers for these programs. Shared Short Codes will no longer be allowed by cell phone carriers, but they understand legitimate business depend on these programs, so they are issuing groups of 800 numbers to be distributed to each individual business. This will allow Texting providers the ability to lock down offenders without affecting everyone else.
Do you have a Shared Short Code and need assistance transitioning? Total PC has been programming custom texting applications, APIs, and more for over a decade. Shoot us a message and we’ll get to work.