Short codes are ideal for high-throughput (100 messages per second by default) programmatic messaging.
Short codes are approved for specific use cases, so if you are experiencing carrier filtering on long codes you may be a good candidate for short codes.
Some of the most common use cases for short codes in Canada include:
Short codes can only message users on carriers within the countries in which they are provisioned. Although Twilio can provision short codes in multiple countries, if your customers are not located in Canada, you should not obtain a Canada short code.
Short codes require express consent from end users before an SMS can be sent; if you cannot obtain consent you should not use a short code.
Twilio and/or the carriers will not support certain types of campaigns, including:
Note: Campaigns dealing with age-restricted content (alcohol, gambling, etc.) are allowed, but will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the CWTA.
Toll-free numbers are the best alternative.
12 -16 weeks, once you submit all required information and documentation.
Please expect delays on any applications submitted from mid October through early January, as the Canadian carriers have an annual provisioning freeze during this time.
Multiple entities determine what is or is not permitted on a given short code.
Click to see SMS pricing, including for short codes.
Once approved, you must configure your short code to respond to the mandatory compliance keywords HELP and STOP and implement proper blacklist functionality for STOP requests. You can either build this functionality yourself or leverage Twilio’s Advanced Opt Out feature.
Note: Your HELP and STOP keyword responses cannot deviate from what was approved in your CWTA application without first filing an amendment with the CWTA. This process generally takes 2 - 3 weeks. Failure to notify the CWTA of updates to your messaging can result in your short code temporarily being shut down.
For the benefit of all our customers, these guidelines are provided to help you comply with applicable requirements and to help ensure Twilio's platform remains compliant with global telecommunications ecosystem requirements. These guidelines represent our current understanding of common compliance requirements generally applicable to Twilio and its customers, and do not constitute legal advice. By posting these guidelines, Twilio makes no assurances regarding the legal compliance of your application built using our APIs. You are expected to understand and abide by all compliance obligations applicable to your specific application. You should check these pages regularly for updates as telecommunications ecosystem requirements continue to evolve and change, and the information below may be updated or changed without notice.