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What is a shortcode? Types of shortcodes.
What is a shortcode? Types of shortcodes.

Shortcode service, Chatbots, Two-way messaging, SMS

Written by Diviniah Mbaire
Updated this week

A shortcode is a concise, typically five-digit or four-digit number assigned exclusively to your Mteja account. It allows recipients to easily send feedback and interact with your services via SMS.

How It Works

Shortcodes function in two main ways, depending on your service offering:

- Zero-Rated/Toll-Free: Messages sent and received through this shortcode are free for the end user. This means there are no costs associated with sending or receiving messages from this shortcode.

- Standard Rated: Shortcodes operating on this model function like traditional long-form numbers. Sending a message incurs the standard network charges similar to long-form numbers, but receiving messages is free for both the sender and receiver.

Types of Shortcodes

1. Dedicated Shortcode

- Description: This shortcode is used exclusively by one organisation. The owner of the dedicated shortcode can create and manage an unlimited number of keywords at no additional cost.

- Benefits: Greater control and customisation, as the shortcode is not shared with other entities.

2. Shared Shortcode or Keyword Service

- Description: This service allows multiple users to receive feedback messages without needing their own dedicated shortcode. Keywords are associated with your Mteja account and are hosted on a shared shortcode.

- How It Works: Messages must start with a unique keyword for them to be routed to your Mteja inbox. All messages received with a keyword are displayed in your inbox.

- Advantages: Cost-effective and allows easy access to feedback without the need for a dedicated shortcode.


- Per SMS Billing: Messages are billed at the standard rate per 160 characters.

- Frequency: Services are billed on a monthly basis. You will be charged on the same date each month as your subscription date.

- Billing Details: Charges apply based on the service type zero-rated (inbound and outbound messages charged to the owner of the code) or standard-rated (Inbound messages charged to the customer texting in)


- Manual Deactivation: To deactivate the shortcode or keyword service, email your request to

- Automatic Deactivation: If the service is not paid for within the Billing cycle, it may be automatically deactivated.

For more information or assistance with shortcode services, please reach out to our support team or refer to your Mteja account dashboard.

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