BUSINESS OMG The text message turns 25 today 3 Dec 2017 10:16am 2 minutes to read Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Short Message Service
04 December, 2017, 07:45
"I spelt it with the full words - not Xmas".
Although Papworth is credited with sending the first text message, he's not the so-called father of SMS. "Looking back with hindsight, it's clear to see that the Christmas message I sent was a pivotal moment in mobile history".
"I'm proud and I'm happy that I did what I did", Papworth said in an interview from Montreal.
It took a while for texting to catch on.
Texting has become so popular that most Americans would rather type it than say it.
By 2007, we were sending 66 billion SMS messages a year in the United Kingdom; in 2012, we sent 151 billion. December 3 marks 25 years since mobile telephones moved beyond mere audio.
But, as Elixabeth Bruton, who works at the Science Museum, points out, it was incredibly important. So SMS can be considered the first step towards the modern smartphone.
"It was limited to 160 characters, but no one had yet invented text speak (txt spk) or emojis, and you could only send those very first texts from a computer to a phone, not the other way round".
But 2012 proved the peak for text messages, in terms of volume; they've been superseded by internet-based apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage.
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".
That also marked a more fundamental shift, away from an open standard which anyone could use (even if your operator charged you) to closed messaging systems controlled by technology giants.
It would be about another year, he explains, before handsets would able to send message as well as receive them.