Every year the Telstra mobile network fills with SMS and MMS declarations of love on Valentine’s Day – and as a technology company that empowers people to connect, this year we’re once again turning love ‘live’.

Since 2011, we’ve taken love from the small screen to the big screen with our #billboardoflove – which each year allows all Australians to declare their love for each other via our massive 26-metre billboard outside the Telstra Store Bourke St, right on Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall.

Since its inception, we’ve processed over 400,000 messages of love, with the numbers increasing each year. Last year, the billboard peaked a whopping 12,000 messages per hour. That’s a lot of love!

The tech behind the #billboardoflove

Incoming text messages are routed via a Telstra SMS Access Manager account directly into our internal event messaging system.

This system then runs a (rather long) set of automated commands to find and check the two names, manage the automatic and manual moderation, as well as create a JPG preview of what your names will look like on the billboard.

This preview is then returned to the sender as a picture message, via Telstra’s MMS Access Manager.

The 2 names in the picture are also simultaneously added to a live JSON feed, which is polled by the digital signage system in the Telstra Shop to provide the graphics for the actual billboard display.

Get involved

Want to shout your love from (almost) the roof tops? Follow these four steps:

  1. Send an SMS to 0484 MYLOVE (0484 695 683) containing your name, a space, and the name of the one you love from any Australian mobile. Max 160 characters and standard SMS charges apply.
  2. Once approved, you will receive an MMS reply with a preview of your message on Telstra’s ‘Billboard of Love.’
  3. The message will then be featured on our Bourke Street Mall billboard in Melbourne for all to see.
  4. Messages can be sent from 9:00AM on 13 February to 11:59PM on 15 February

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