This December we wish SMS a happy birthday as it's been 30 years since the very first SMS was sent! In December 1992, Neil Papworth from Vodafone sent the text “Merry Christmas” to a co-worker who was attending a work Christmas party. What started as a wholesome Christmas wish became the first of the 100 billion texts a year we know today!
Here's some facts about SMS as we celebrate this occasion:
It originated from the late Finnish engineer Matti Makonen, who during the enjoyment of a pizza, came up with the idea of sharing short messages between cell phones via a network.
The invention of the first Nokia cell phone in 1994, which had a keyboard designed for texting, rocket launched this idea into reality. Although during those years, you could only send texts to those who were on the same mobile network as you.
In 1999, this rapidly changed as cross-network texts became possible and texting became the global phenomenon that characterised the beginning of the 21st century.
SMS, which stands for "Short Message Service" was created as a tool for quick, internal communications within companies. Now it has grown to be the diverse communication tool for the public that it is today, spanning from customer engagement to company logistics.
Companies have adopted SMS as a key aspect to their business strategy as it can improve the relationship between customer and brand. For example, it can be used to gather feedback on the quality of a product or increase security by authorising transactions by users. Matti Makonen himself said he believed that "reliable easy to use text messaging will stay forever" and despite the changing landscape of technology, we are inclined to agree!