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  • Brandon Daniell

Text Messaging Turns 27: Check Out These Fun Facts & Figures

Twenty-seven years ago today (Dec. 3, 1992), the first text message was sent. To celebrate its birth, here are 15 more facts and figures about texting.


1. Texting, or SMS (short message service), was developed in the United Kingdom in the late 1980s.


2. The first text message sent to a cellphone was "Merry Christmas."


3. It was sent by engineer Neil Papworth to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis while Jarvis celebrated an office Christmas party. Jarvis did not have the capability to reply with a text from his Orbitel 901 cellphone, which weighed more than 4.5 pounds.


4. Since cellphones did not yet have the capability to type out and send individual letters of the alphabet, Papworth's greeting was typed and sent via computer.


5. Nokia debuted the first mobile phone capable of sending texts in 1993.


6. The first SMS commercial service was launched in the United Kingdom in 1995.


7. In 1998, it became possible to send messages between cellphone networks.


8. The average American user sent 35 texts per month in 2000. The average person now sends 15 texts per day.


9. 2007 marked the first year Americans sent and received more text messages per month than phone calls.


10. Americans send roughly 5.5 billion text messages every day. That's 63,000 texts every second.


11. The number of text messages exchanged by Americans in 2018 increased nearly 16% over 2017.


12. Text messaging is the most widely used smartphone function.


13. 98% of text messages are read by the end of the day.


14. Age is not a barrier to texting!


15. Healthcare organizations are increasingly relying on texting and leveraging the platform to achieve significant improvements in many aspects of their operations.


Sources: CTIA, Encyclopedia Britannica, G2, Mashable, NPR, Pew Research Center, Statista, The Guardian, The Week



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