Deactivation of short code numbers

Update April 16, 2021 - Another Extension

The carriers have pushed back the shutdown date for shared short codes again. The new date has been delayed from June 1 to "to be determined". The shutdown of shared short codes is on hold until the "successful implementation of A2P 10DLC".

Keywords on 5-digit numbers – 55444 & 33777 – will now continue to function beyond the previous June 1 date.

Although we do not have an exact date, we expect this shutdown will still occur sometime in 2021.

We've been told there will be at least 30 days of notice before the new shutdown date is set. We will send an update as soon as we receive a the official date from the phone carriers.

Update February 6, 2021 - Extension Granted

The carriers have granted an extension for shared short codes. The shutdown date has been moved back from March 1 to June 1.

Keywords on 5-digit numbers – 55444 & 33777 – will now continue to function through June 1, 2021.

After June 1, we anticipate that no text messages will be sent or received by our 5-digit numbers.

We are still seeking a waiver to this carrier policy which would allow our short code numbers to work beyond the June 1 date. No waivers been issued yet. It is unclear how many waivers (if any) will be issued by the phone carriers.

We will continue to provide updates on this issue as we learn more information from the carriers.

The original notice below has been updated to reflect the new date of June 1 to help prevent confusion.

Original Notice

We've recently been informed of a policy change from AT&T and T-Mobile regarding the use of short code numbers which affects all text message platforms.

Starting June 1, they will prevent all shared short codes from sending or receiving messages on their networks. This includes the 5-digit numbers on the Textiful platform used for data capture campaigns.

Keywords assigned to our short code numbers - 33777 or 55444 - will most likely stop functioning on or after June 1, 2021.

We are actively trying to acquire a waiver to this new policy to allow our short code numbers to continue functioning beyond June 1. Unfortunately few, if any, exemptions will be issued by the carriers.

We are operating under the assumption that no waiver will be issued to Textiful and our numbers will be decommissioned on June 1. These numbers will no longer be able to send or receive messages at that time.

New information is expected to be released by the carriers in the coming weeks. We will send you updates as we get more information from our carrier partners.

Why are the carrier making this policy change?
This is an effort to reduce SPAM messages that are being sent by bad actors using shared short code numbers. 

Who is affected by this policy change?
This change affects the entire texting industry. All text message platforms - not just Textiful - will be impacted. The carriers are applying this policy to all shared short codes.

Is there an alternative? Can I still collect emails through text?
Yes. We recommend using a dedicated toll free number for your keywords & campaigns. This 10-digit number can be used to capture emails and other data from your audience. These numbers are free with any paid Textiful subscription.

If you have not already claimed a toll free number, you can do so here:

What happens to my current keywords that use a 5-digit number?
As of now, we are planning on deactivating all keywords assigned to 55444 or 33777 on June 1. This date may change as we learn more from the phone carriers.

We are building tools that will allow you to copy existing keywords & campaigns to your dedicated toll free number. These tools will be in place well before June 1. We will send further announcements when they are available.

Does this affect broadcast messages?
No. This change does not affect toll free numbers. It does not impact your ability to send broadcast messages in any way.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening?
This policy is set by the phone carriers and is out of our control. We are waiting on more guidance on whether or not waivers will be issued. If we are able to get a waiver, then our short codes will continue to function as they do today. But all indications are that waivers will not be issued by the carriers.

I'd like to make changes to my Textiful plan. How do I do that?
We'll work with you and make sure you're happy. Please contact us to find the best solution for you.

Is there ANY way I can continue using a 5-digit short code number?
Yes, there is. You can acquire your own, dedicated short code number. These are not restricted by the new carrier policy.

They're expensive ($1,000+ /mo) and the application process takes a while (up to 3 months). These costs are 100% carrier fees. Textiful does not receive any portion or charge a mark up.

If you'd like to pursue this route, we are more than happy to help. Please contact us and we will guide you through the process at no charge.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?
Please email with any additional questions you may have. 

Did you find it helpful? Yes No

Send feedback
Sorry we couldn't be helpful. Help us improve this article with your feedback.