What are Shared Short Codes?
One of the only drawbacks of SMS shortcodes is the fact that they can be pricey. Shared shortcodes helped to mitigate costs by allowing organizations to share one single shortcode. This means that different teams in your company could use one code, and organize your campaigns around keywords. If you are trying to check out SMS texting or have a limited budget, shared short codes used to be the industry standard. Unfortunately, shared shortcodes also come with a number of drawbacks, which is why wireless carriers have started to shut them down.
Because the single code is shared across multiple users, the "pool" of available keywords for any business to use becomes limited. So for example, if two pizza shops on the same shared code wanted to use the mobile keyword “Slice”, only one of them would be able to.
Imagine that 1,000 people lived in your home with you, and when someone tried to send you mail, they could only include the address, not your name. It would become incredibly hard to decipher which piece of mail was meant for which person. Similarly, shared codes make it incredibly difficult to route inbound messages to the correct user’s inbox.
Reliance on Other Users
There are many compliance regulations that govern text messaging for businesses. With a shared code, if a single user out of a thousand misuses the code and sends non-compliant messages, wireless carriers could shut down the entire code, leaving the 999 other users out of luck.
Carriers have discontinued shared short codes because of all of these drawbacks and their ability to be used by bad actors. High-throughput toll-free numbers have many of the same benefits of shared codes without any of these drawbacks.