The text message celebrates its 25th birthday after first SMS was sent

Friends sending text message with smartphone

The world’s first SMS was sent in 1992, having been sent from a computer to Vodaphone network.

Twenty five years ago, British engineer Neil Papworth sent the world’s very first text message. Papworth sent the message from a computer to a cell phone on the Vodaphone network.

The mobile phone belonged to Richard Jarvis, who was the director of Vodaphone in 1992.

The first SMS text message was quite short and reflected the time of year in which it was sent, stating simply: “Merry Christmas.” According to Papworth, the text was a one way communication. The reason is that at that time, there wasn’t any way for a mobile phone to be able to send texts. That said, they could receive them when they were sent from a computer, which was how the first one occurred.

“I’m proud and I’m happy that I did what I did,” said Papworth. That said, he also explained that it wouldn’t be for another year before mobile phones would have the capability to both send and receive text messages.

By 2013, about six billion people around the world had access to sending and receiving a text message.

Friends sending text message with smartphoneThat, according to Adobe statistics. That said, SMS messages were being exchanged on a regular basis far earlier than that. In fact, by 2006, there were 12.5 billion texts sent every month in the United States alone. By the close of 2007, that figure had spiked to 45 billion per month in the U.S. This year in June, the estimated number of monthly texts sent in the country was 781 billion. The reason is that with smartphones and the current standard mobile plans, sending texts has become extremely easy and is a normal part of everyday life.

While it could barely be contested that SMS messages have changed the way we communicate, the future of this form of communication is now considered to be uncertain. The popularity of applications such as WhatsApp has improved the text-based communication experience to include a range of additional fun and convenient features. By July 2017, WhatsApp was delivering an astounding 55 billion daily messages, leaving SMS way behind.

With other messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts and Apple’s iMessage, text based messaging is on the increase but SMS messages appear to be on the decline in terms of growth.

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