the conciseness company


Sparrow Supports Shortmail’s 500 Character Email Limit

Firms work together to make email more digestible

PARIS, France and BALTIMORE, Maryland, USA - August 9, 2011 — Sparrow, developers of the elegant, minimalist Sparrow email application for Mac OS X, today announced support for character limited email, an innovation introduced last month as part of Shortmail. Shortmail, developed by 410 Labs, uses length limitation and user-centric design to make email shorter and simpler.

The two email innovators announced the partnership as a step towards their goal of making email radically better. Sparrow, the leading, beautifully-designed third-party email application for Mac OS X, now supports "character limited email," an innovation first announced to the world just last month by 410 Labs, creator of

"Shortmail is based on a simple question: what becomes possible when email is shorter?" said 410 Labs CEO Dave Troy. “We’ve discovered that 500 characters works well as a length limit. It allows people enough space to communicate efficiently, while making the process of reading and managing your inbox much more manageable. And it provides a rich platform from which we and our partners can experiment with other ways to improve email, such as making it more social, and minimizing spam.“

Shortmail was launched in July and has received extensive praise from users and reviewers. Shortmail can be used via its web interface and is also available to third party email services via IMAP and POP3.

410 Labs recently made a public proposal to add a header to email messages that declares their character limit, if one exists. Sparrow is the first organization to endorse and implement that proposal. Now, with Sparrow’s latest release, when Sparrow users communicate using a Shortmail account, Sparrow displays a character counter that limits messages to 500 characters.

"Sparrow is all about making email simpler, and we liked the idea of Shortmail early on," said Dominique Leca, Director at Sparrow. "It was a natural fit, and Shortmail's minimalistic support for character limits made it easy to implement," Leca said.

Now, when Sparrow users communicate via Shortmail, Sparrow will display a character counter that limits messages to 500 characters. Sparrow 1.3.2, which includes support for Shortmail, is available now from the OS X app store. Anyone with a Twitter account can claim their free Shortmail account at

About 410 Labs

410 Labs, ‘the conciseness company,’ is a lean product studio that makes socially productive communication tools for web and mobile platforms. It was founded in 2010 by successful serial entrepreneurs Dave Troy and Matt Koll. Its first two products are Replyz and Shortmail. 410 Labs is based in Baltimore, MD, and is hiring.

About Sparrow

Sparrow is brought to you by Hoa Dinh Viet, Dominique Leca and Jean-Marc Denis. Sparrow is the result of a 10-year work started as the Etpan open-source project created and managed by Hoa Dinh Viet. Sparrow for Mac was initiated in early 2010. It integrates a proprietary mail engine (based on Etpan/Hermod) and aims at improving the mail experience on Mac.


410 Labs CEO Dave Troy is available for interview, and print and web-quality screenshots of Shortmail or Sparrow are available. A select group of investors are also available for comment. Contact Luke Gibson at 410-937-6493 or to request an interview or to obtain images.