Text message is now 25 years old: Happy Silver jubilee

Text message is now 25 years old: Happy Silver jubilee

The first text message was sent by Neil Papworth over the Vodafone GSM network.

Papworth's first message truly celebrated the holiday season. He wrote "Merry Christmas" to his colleague Richard Jarvis.

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", Mr Papworth said.

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

At first, text messages had a 160-character limit. It was when phones, around for more than a century, moved beyond mere audio.

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Elizabeth Bruton, of the Science Museum in London, told Sky News that she believes text messaging served as one of the precursors to smartphones because it expanded the possibility of what mobile phones could be used for.

Apparently, "back in the day", mobile phones did not have keypads, so Papaworth typed the first ever message on a PC.

And we can see that continuation through to today when we have hundreds of thousands of applications on our smartphone. Rather than calling someone - interrupting them and demanding their attention right that moment - it let people choose when to reply.

In 2015, 30 billion messages were sent every day globally on WhatsApp, compared to 20 billion sent via SMS. But texting remains popular due to how easy it is to use.

SMS still has a future, though, because it works where very few data standards will work, Ms Bruton says.

In 1993, Nokia introduced an SMS functionality with which you will be able to hear a distinctive "beep" to signal an incoming message.

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