23559 Text Messaging Service Ends July 28

Celly Is Voyaging Beyond The Shortcode

On July 28, text messaging service on Celly using our 5-digit phone number, 23559, will end. But don’t worry, here’s how to move forward with Celly into the future:

  1. Download the Celly app. Our iPhone and Android messaging apps provide the richest feature set and are the best way to Celly.
  2. Run your own text messaging gateway with Celly Nucleus. You might not know about Nucleus. We created this service a couple years ago to enable fast, convenient text messaging access without the cost and hassles of shortcode provisioning (particularly in countries outside the US). Nucleus converts any Android phone into a text messaging gateway that replaces 23559 with your own phone number. This lets members access Celly via your own phone number instead of 23559.
  3. Upgrade to Realm, our next-generation messaging platform we are announcing today. Realm lets you create your own branded messaging apps—including your very own iPhone and Android apps with your own app name, launch icons, colors, and copy. Realm gives you your own private instance of Celly branded for your school, business, team, or organization.
  4. Read the 23559 Shortcode Sunsetting FAQ

If you have a Celly plan dependent on 23559, and if none of the options above work, we are happy to explore alternative solutions — e.g., we can discuss viability of a longcode (10-digit text messaging phone number) or just refund you. We’ll reach out to you directly or feel free to contact us at support@cel.ly.

Stopping 23559 is bittersweet.

23559 (which spells C-E-L-L-Y on a numeric keypad) has been a key Celly feature even before we launched.

We acquired our 23559 shortcode back in 2008, over eight years ago!

Since that time, we have iteratively honed the Celly text messaging user experience knowing egalitarian access is important for user engagement. When creating messaging solutions in the real world, it is important that no student, parent, neighbor, audience member, or coworker is left out because they only have texting (vs an internet data plan). Without the opportunity for 100% inclusion, in many scenarios, messaging solutions cannot be adopted. Hence on-boarding in Celly has been engineered to be fast, simple, and work great with SMS-only feature phones.

So today, Celly remains fully committed to offering the richest text messaging experience via Nucleus or Realm. Just not via 23559.

Supporting a shortcode is expensive.

Even before launching Celly and sending out our first text messages, it took eight months and tens of thousands of dollars just to get our text messaging service vetted and approved by each phone carrier — Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, etc. This was a long, tedious, frustrating, and costly process, but we fought through it and invested in it because we knew, back then, the importance of shortcode access.

Eight years later, operating a shortcode has become even more expensive. There are steep monthly fees for leasing a shortcode, SMS provider gateway fees, and now on top of all that, each phone carrier imposes individual taxes on the delivery of each message!

Eight years ago, feature phones were way more popular than smartphones. In order to on-board users quickly and conveniently, shortcode access was paramount.

Today, smartphones are ubiquitous.

So naturally — after subsidizing and delivering hundreds of millions of free text messages on behalf of student learning and engagement, HIV awareness, hurricane relief, and social justice movements including #OccupyWallStreet and #BlackLivesMatter — we’ve jumped all-in on building next-generation smartphone messaging apps.

So please stay tuned!

Beyond Realm, Celly will soon be announcing a wild, fun, immersive messaging experience that leapfrogs Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thank you for your support!

Team Celly

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