Shortcodes for Dummies


Something I learned while reporting on the use of text-messaging in political campaigns, including the not-entirely-successful announcement of Biden's place on the Democratic ticket: mass-texting is somewhat complicated and works differently on the back end than the texts you send your kids.

If you know this already, you can stop reading now. If you need a little remedial text info, have at it:

Mass-distributed texts exchanged via "shortcodes" - those nifty little addresses that marketers use instead of full phone numbers - are based on a peer-to-application architecture, not the peer-to-peer used in daily communication. Shortcode texting involves firms that provide applications, which work with other companies known as aggregators.

Big texting campaigns have been successful for everything from fast-food promotions to "American Idol." This whitepaper from Keynote Systems Inc., a testing and measurement company in San Mateo, CA, looks at some of the ways to implement a successful SMS effort.


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