Segments and Encodings

In Spoke, messages are billed by the segment, rather than the whole message.

What is a Segment?

A segment is a component of a larger overall text message - you can think of it like a single page in a letter. Twilio has a good explanation of what a segment is and why it's a thing here: https://www.twilio.com/blog/2017/03/what-the-heck-is-a-segment.html

Most of the time, a segment can be up to 160 characters, so as long as your message is under 160 characters, it will be one segment, and if it's between 160 and 320 characters, it will be 2 segments. However, depending on the characters present in your message, your message may be encoded differently, and that will affect the number of characters that networks can fit into a segment.

What is Character Encoding?

The most common and most efficient character encoding is called GSM. As long as you stick to pretty standard characters, your message will be able to be encoded using the GSM encoding. If you use certain characters like emojis, ñ, `, or – (emdash), your message will require Unicode character encoding which is limited to 70 characters per segments.

Segments and Spoke

To help you all keep your messages within the appropriate amount of segments, we've added a segment counter that also informs you of the character set your message is likely to be encoded with. For example, when typing an emdash, you can see the character set switch to unicode, and the segment count and characters left adjust accordingly.

GSM Encoded Message

Unicode Encoded Message

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