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CRF Blog » Blog Archive » OMG! Texting turns 20

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OMG! Texting turns 20

by Shruti Modi

In OMG! Texting turns twenty, The Economist displays the history of the text message.

ON DECEMBER 3rd 1992 a young Vodafone engineer wished his boss “Merry Christmas” by SMS (short message service). This is widely regarded as the first ever text. (Tapping out 07734 on a calculator, turning it upside down and handing it to someone does not count.) Since then, texting has become a global phenomenon, growing particularly rapidly in the early-noughties when America finally embraced the medium and Chinese mobile subscriptions took off. According to Portio Research, a market-research firm, 7.8 trillion text messages were sent in 2011 and the number is expected to increase. [more]