Sometimes we use characters in messages sent via Groupcall Messenger that are used less often e.g. the £ character, or a ¬ or sometimes 'fancy' quotation marks, as well as many characters used in foreign languages. In these cases, in order for the message to display correctly when they are received, we need to send them using a different system, this system is called Unicode. This is great, but it does mean that each of the characters now takes twice the space that it did previously (even the regular characters!).
As you probably know, in Messenger your SMSs are limited to 160 characters per unit/SMS (in keeping with the SMS standard) - dependent on your account settings you may be able to send multi-unit messages. Email is unaffected by this as emails are not limited in length.
When you enter text into a computer, the characters are represented on screen in a way you can read - they show as letters, numbers, symbols and even spaces. However, behind the scenes, your computer and the systems associated with processing that text represent the characters you can see as a set of codes. A computer doesn't see 'ABC' the way we do, it sees it as '100 0001 100 0010 100 0011' or in ASCII representation - pretty tricky for us to follow hey!
Some characters are more complex for the computer to understand though and these are represented by Unicode and span more than 1 character count. Now, a single unit SMS that is normally 160 regular characters (this includes spaces) can only hold 80 characters (even if only 1 Unicode character is present) and going over this limit will cause the message to go in 2 units and cost you twice as much.
This might sound rather techy and boring to you, and you might be asking yourself why I am telling you all of this... Well the only thing you really need to know in relation to Messenger is that some characters will take up more of the available space you have in an SMS - if you have a lot of Unicode characters, your SMS will be longer than you expect and may use more units to send and therefore cost more.
Sometimes, characters can be both Unicode and ASCII - *"!() are examples of characters that can be both. If you type these characters directly into messenger then they will default to single characters, but if you copy and paste them from somewhere else, you may find that Unicode characters are present.
We have a simple solution however - below the text entry window in Messenger v5 you will see a warning that states "UNICODE char. detected" if any of your characters are Unicode - the offending character will be shown in brackets; if its a normal character (e.g. !"* etc) then simply re-type the character to show it as non-unicode, if its an unusual character (e.g. ¬$£€ etc) then you can ignore it. Work through the whole text until the warning disappears.
If you'd like to know more about the world of character encoding, then wikipedia has some interesting articles, and if you need any help with a particular message in Messenger, please contact our support team and they will be happy to help!