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Linked SMS messages, or concatenated messages, let you send more than the standard 160 characters per message. Each standard message counts as one credit, but with linked messages you can send up to 456 GSM characters, which counts as three credits.
The reason the total character limit is less than 160 x 3 (480) is because some characters from each message are reserved for header information. The data in the header tells the receiving mobile device what order to display the linked messages in. This process ensures that your messages will always be seen in the proper order regardless of the type of device the recipient is using.
In NetMessenger, you can type up to 456 characters in a single message text box. As you type, you’ll see the character count increase at the bottom of the message text box. If your character count exceeds 160 characters, you’ll also see the number of messages increase as well. This lets you know how many standard messages you are using, and the corresponding credits that will be required when you send it.
The ability to use linked messages alleviates some of the stress of writing just 160 characters. Most people using SMS on their personal devices probably don’t even think about the limitation. For businesses sending marketing messages, message length is a little more important. They need to keep their messages short, because that is what makes SMS marketing so powerful. But if a company needs 200 characters to send its offer, none of their customers are likely to notice the difference. The messaging can still be as effective as 160, especially if the extra characters help make the message clearer.
For example, companies might consider using abbreviations and acronyms in order to meet the character limit. But these can be confusing if the intent or context isn’t clear. Linked messages provide the ability to send a longer message to ensure their customers or employees understand them.