Text message is now 25 years old: Happy Silver jubilee

Written by Sajeel Syed ·  1 min read >

25 years have passed since first text message was sent. Although, sending SMS using sim card over mobile is outdated, yet texting is still live, no matter which app you are using. The very first text message was sent on Dec. 3, 1992, so now truly it is 25 years and one day old.

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. The text was received by the executive Richard Jarvis, on his mobile phone, Orbitel 901. The message “Merry Christmas” was typed on a PC, but was received on a mobile, so the owner was unable to reply, at that time.

Texting wasn’t very simple to achieve, but as mobile phones became more popular in the late 1990s use of the telecom devices was at a peak. As it gained more popularity, people quickly adapted to “textspeak” by shortening words and using endless abbreviations. This has also pointed out some serious distress about how it would destroy our use of language.

The idea of conversation on telecom devices in written form was firstly delivered by Matti Makkonen back in 1984. However, it was not quite simple to make texting compatible with mobile devices under GSM standards. While the dream was fulfilled when Nokia introduced its text messaging in mobile phones in 2010, which was quite easy to use.

According to a research, 97 percent of smartphone owners still use text messaging. Most of them also use a new set of sub-languages based on abbreviations and keyboard-based icons have evolved. Over 561 billion text messages were sent worldwide according to the stats of June 2014, while around 18.7 billion messages sent every day, as stated by a researcher of TextRequest.

Along with SMS, some other mobile apps like Whatsapp, and Messenger have also become the main source of texting these days. These apps are constantly evolving and have much more to offer than a simple text. As you are able to send or receive media files, make videos calls and an enjoy a lot of other cool features.

Written by Sajeel Syed
I am a writer at TechJuice, overseeing IT, Telecom, Cryptocurrency, and other tech-related features here. When I'm not working, I spend some of my time with good old Xbox 360 and the rest in social activism. Follow me on Twitter: Profile