Text Messaging Celebrates 25th Birthday

Text Messaging Celebrates 25th Birthday
The first ever message sent using the short message service (SMS) standard was sent on this day in 1992.

(CCM) — The first ever text message was sent exactly twenty five years ago today, on December 3, 1992, Tech Times is reporting.

The message was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth to an Orbitel 901 mobile phone belonging to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis, and it read, quite simply: "Merry Christmas." It was sent from a computer, and Jarvis was unable to reply because mobile phones were only able to receive text messages at that time.

In 1994 the Nokia 2010 phone became the first handset that allowed users to compose and send text messages relatively easily, and the popularity of texting exploded. By 2006 about 12.5 billion text messages were sent every month, and this figure ballooned to 45 billion per month just one year later. The popularity of the medium has continued to increase despite competition from internet-based messaging systems such as Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger, and in June 2017 a staggering 781 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. alone.

The Short Message Service (SMS) standard that allows text messaging limits the length of a message to a maximum of 160 characters. This limit may well have influenced the founders of Twitter to create the 140 character limit for tweets, although this limit has recently been doubled by Twitter to 280 characters.

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