What is the difference between a shortcode vs a long code?

Shortcodes enable your application to send SMS at 50 messages per second. Conversely, a long code can send five messages per second. 

Shortcodes are perfect for applications that need to send SMS messages to lots of users, or that need to send many time-sensitive messages. Based on the type of application you build and the messages you're sending, a shortcode may be the only type of number that can support your use case. Applications that are best on a shortcode are, for example, marketing communications, large-volume messaging, one-way notifications to users, and SMS marketing messages.

Shortcodes are not location-specific and can be used nationwide. At the moment, Plivo only provides shortcodes for the US and Canada. A shortcode will only able to send and messages from same-country phone numbers on operator networks that have approved the shortcode, as they are provisioned on a country-to-country basis.

For international destinations, you will have to use regular phone numbers.


Long codes


What is it?

A unique ten-digit phone number that’s tied to an area code (e.g., +1-415-484-7489)

A five to six-digit number that can be used nationwide. For example, PLIVO (75486)

When do I need it?

P2P communication: when a person interacts with another person. e.g. Google Voice.

A2P communication: when an application interacts with a person. e.g. notifications.

What apps can I build?

Group messaging, agent-to-person apps, peer-to-peer apps.

Marketing campaigns, alerts, confirmations, two-factor authentication.

How fast can I send my SMS?

5 SMS/second. Carrier regulations do not allow long codes to be used for SMS broadcasting.

Default base rate is 50 SMS per second. To increase this rate, please contact Sales.

Are there limitations on my SMS traffic pattern?

Carrier regulations require that the ratio of inbound to outbound SMS traffic be better than 1:3.

This means you may not send more than 200 SMS per day per long code number

No limitations.

How much does this cost?

Check out our SMS rates on our pricing page.

Check out our shortcode page for complete pricing details.


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