International user registration via SMS

I've noticed a lot of mobile apps, specifically messaging apps, are switching from email verification to SMS'ed auth codes. Being based in the US, I am wondering how this works for international users. It seems illogical that users always receive an SMS from a US-based number.


Twilio Evangelist here,

We have a lot of people using Twilio for this, sending an SMS to the user with an authorisation code. I'm actually based in the UK, and I get them from all sorts of different numbers. Some companies use short codes (4/5/6 digit numbers), some companies use a regular long code number.

Unlike the US, we have mobile number ranges in Europe, so you can tell the difference between a mobile and landline number. Although UK landline numbers can weirdly send and receive SMS...

The experience is fine - if I've just completed some action on a web page or an app, I'm expecting the SMS, and I seldom even notice the number they came from. In fact, to answer this I had to look through my received messages to see what numbers were being used!

Hope this helps.

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