ibusinesslines.com July 20, 2018

Fun Fact: First text message was sent 25-years-ago

04 December 2017, 08:41 | Jodi Jackson

Image Neil Papworth the British programmer who sent the first ever text message

Neil Papworth 25th anniversary of text messages

A British engineer, Neil Papworth sent the first text message using his PC to a senior executive of his telecom company Vodafone, who was attending a holiday party in Newbury, England.

After the development of the SMS messaging application, he sent a message "MERRY CHRISTMAS" to colleague Richard Jarvis on December 3, 1992.

Another article from EDN and that from TechSpot above notes that only 0.4 messages per GSM customer were sent on average per month in the United Kingdom, something that took a while to take off because, in the United Kingdom at least, inter-carrier messaging didn't happen until 1999.

"I don't know if they really thought it was going to be a big thing", Papworth told Sky News.

There was a decline of 25%-40% in texting after networks started charging for SMS, but it soon gained more traction - reaching 2.4 billion active users, 74% of all mobile phone subscribers. These apps are constantly evolving and have much more to offer than a simple text.

And perhaps because they missed that initial adoption, Americans still don't add the customary "x" at the end of a message. "Looking back with hindsight, it's clear to see that the Christmas message I sent was a pivotal moment in mobile history".

SMS changed norms of social interaction.

When Twitter launched in July 2006, it borrowed SMS's 140 character limit.

In 2015, 30 billion messages were sent every day globally on WhatsApp, compared to 20 billion sent via SMS.

Today, about 97 percent of smartphone owners use text messaging, according to Pew Research, and along the way, a new set of sub-languages based on abbreviations has eveloved.

SMS still has a future, though, because it works where very few data standards will work, Ms Bruton says. As you are able to send or receive media files, make videos calls and an enjoy a lot of other cool features.

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