Why are text messages 160 characters?

Because that is what Friedhelm Hillebrand, a German researcher found to be “Perfectly sufficient.”

Interesting article from the LA Times.

Text messaging pioneer was a good judge of characters

Twitter’s 140-character limit on tweets can be traced to German researcher Friedhelm Hillebrand’s work in 1985. Text messaging now surpasses cellphone calling.
By Mark Milian 
May 11, 2009
To understand how the wizards of Twitter settled on 140 as the magic number of characters in a single tweet, you have to go back two decades to Bonn, Germany.

One day in 1985, Friedhelm Hillebrand sat at the typewriter in his home there, tapping out random sentences and questions on a sheet of paper.   For the rest of the article click here.

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