08:20 GMT01 March 2021
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Happy birthday to the first SMS (Short Message Service). December 3 marks 25 years since mobile telephones moved beyond mere audio.

    British engineer Neil Papworth on December 3, 1992, wrote “Merry Christmas” to his colleague Richard Jarvis in the first-ever text message.

    Jarvis was at a Christmas party at the time and Papworth send it using his computer as back then phone handsets could only receive messages.

    “I don't know if they really thought it was going to be a big thing,” Papworth told Sky News. “I spelt it with the full words – not Xmas.”

    As mobile phones became more popular in the late 1990s the use of text messaging skyrocketed, peaking in 2011. 

    Since then Facebook, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have taken over messaging, becoming more popular amongst the public.

    However, as Elizabeth Bruton of London’s Science Museum pointed out, the creation of texting was “an incredibly important development in the history of mobile telephones,” as it marked the point when phones moved beyond mere audio.

    ​"For the very first time we had mobile telephones that were more than just literal mobile telephones, moving beyond voice communications to a new application of the mobile spectrum to sending, literally, text messages,” Bruton said.


    Facebook Reporting Russia-Linked Accounts Akin to Intel Gathering - Activist
    Facebook to Launch Tool Telling Users if They Interacted With Russia-Linked Ads
    Facebook Psychological Targeting Helps Influence People’s Feelings – Scholar
    WhatsApp Allows Pedophiles to Operate Outside the Law - UK Home Secretary
    Pakistani Christian Man Sentenced to Death for Blasphemous WhatsApp Text
    SMS, smartphone, technology, Facebook
    Community standardsDiscussion