The SMS text message turns 25 and we're still using it!

The SMS text message turns 25 and we're still using it!

It was 1992 and Neil Papworth had been working at Vodafone as a software engineer when he sent the text message to his director at his office Christmas party.

Long before the ability to send GIFs and video messages on smartphones, a 22-year-old sent the first ever text message to a mobile phone.

"I don't know if they really thought it was going to be a big thing", he said.

"I had no idea just how popular texting would become, and that this would give rise to emojis and message apps used by millions", Papworth said.

The publication reminds us of Mark Zuckerberg's statement past year that "daily activity on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp combined was three times the number of SMS messages sent worldwide - 60 billion compared to 20 billion".

The US was slower to catch on, mainly because mobile operators there charged more for texts and less for voice calls, and because of the popularity and availability of PC-to-PC instant messaging or IM.


But, as Elixabeth Bruton, who works at the Science Museum, points out, it was incredibly important. December 3 marks 25 years since mobile telephones moved beyond mere audio.

But in honour of the occasion today, send your oldest friend a text, preferably asking them if they're coming on MSN any time soon.

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

Since then Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have taken over messaging, becoming more popular amongst the public.

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

"It was limited to 160 characters, but no one had yet invented text speak (txt spk) or emojis, and you could only send those very first texts from a computer to a phone, not the other way round".

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