This December Marks the 25th Anniversary of the First SMS Sent

“... I only recently told my children that I sent that first text....”

In today’s world we deliver our thoughts with instant texting, backed up by appropriate emojis and stickers. And we hardly even think about when did this miracle first started that actually made our communication so easier and faster?

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Well, on December, to be specific on the 2nd of December, 1992 the first-ever SMS was sent. It was sent by Vodafone by Neil Papworth, the then 22 year old engineer. It was not sent from any mobile phone though. The first ever SMS was sent via a computer which said “Merry Christmas” and the person who received the SMS was the then Vodafone director, Richard Jarvis.

“In 1992, I had no idea just how popular texting would become, and that this would give rise to emojis and messaging apps used by millions. I only recently told my children that I sent that first text. Looking back with hindsight, it’s clearer to see that Christmas message I sebt was a pivotal moment in mobile history” says Papworth.

The 160 character messaging system went on till the early 2000. People would type in messages in short form so that it won’t exceed 160 characters. There were no instant messaging apps and no emojis. From 1999 onwards the text messages could be exchanged over telecom networks. And then came the emojis. The first emojis were made in Japan.

Nokia introduced the SMS feature on its handset devices that had 160 character limits. Other brands also came up with SMS features. It was in the 2000s that iMessage and WhatsApp came and took over the limited texting market.

It’s been 25 years after the first text was sent that showed a convenient way of distant communication. And now, with the advent of technology we have not only been able to text instantly with unlimited word limits, but can also video call to people live.


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