Years Since World's First Text Message By Neil Papworth


The first text message was sent on December 3, 1992, by British engineer Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis, an executive at British telecom Vodafone, who was attending his company's holiday party in Newbury, England.

Papworth's first message truly celebrated the holiday season. Handsets could only receive messages, not send them, so Mr Papworth typed out the season's greetings on a computer.

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. Makkonen feels the technology actually was launched in 1994 when Nokia unveiled its 2010 mobile phone, the first device that let people easily write messages.

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The publication reminds us of Mark Zuckerberg's statement a year ago 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".

He could not have been more wrong though, with Elizabeth Bruton, who works for the Science Museum, letting everyone know how important the SMS was. Ofcom statistics state that mobile phone users sent 102 billion texts in 2015, compared with 150 billion in 2011.

She added: "And we can see that continuation through to today when we have hundreds of thousands of applications on our smartphone".

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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.

US software giant Adobe estimated that six billion people globally had SMS messaging at their fingertips by 2013.

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That also marked a more fundamental shift, away from an open standard which anyone could use (even if your operator charged you) to closed messaging systems controlled by technology giants. You don't need Wi-Fi, you don't need 3G to be able to send a very basic text message.