The text message celebrates its 25th birthday today


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.

Today is the anniversary of the first SMS (short message service), which simply said "Merry Christmas". Jarvis received it at while at the company's holiday party. The U.K. software developer, who now resides in Canada, sent the first text to Richard Jarvis, a director at the London-based telecom company Vodafone UK.

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"I had no idea just how popular texting would become, and that this would give rise to emojis and message apps used by millions", Papworth said.

Despite sending the first text message, Mr Papworth said he can't take credit for the technology. More than 561 billion text messages were sent worldwide in June 2014, about 18.7 billion texts sent every day, according researcher TextRequest. And from that humble beginnings, a quarter of a century later, we are now living in a world where billions of messages are texted each month.

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The SMH from 2012 reminds us that it wasn't until the year 2000 in Australia that you could finally send messages between carriers - I remember enthusiastically doing so with a friend who was on a different network to mine, and it was unbelievable to see - and soon became second nature to us all.

The SMS revolution took longer to arrive in the states. As popular as texting is, the popularity of the smartphone and the use of mobile apps has made messaging apps and social media apps a very strong challenger to SMS.

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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".