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by Sarah Hill


HBD, TXT: The Text Message Turns 20

Today, December 3rd, 2012, marks the 20th anniversary of the very first text message, otherwise known as SMS (Short Message Service). To properly celebrate the milestone, JESS3 brings you 20 facts —each in 160 characters or less, naturally—you may not know about that simple service you use to say sup to your boo.

1. Tasty Origins
The origins of texting can be traced back to a conversation between colleagues at a pizzeria in Copenhagen in 1984.

2. Merry Xmas
In 1992, Neil Papworth sent the first text message when he wrote “Merry Christmas” on his PC & sent it via SMS to Vodafone Director Richard Jarvis.

3. That’s Heavy
The 1st text message was received on an Orbitel 901 transportable cell phone that weighed 2.1 kg, more than 17 iPhone 5’s.

4. Voice-waiting
Texting’s main use at first was to inform mobile subscribers of waiting voicemails.

5. Txt-a-Trillion
Over 7 trillion text messages are sent in 2011 worldwide – more than 200,000 messages per second.

6. Word-of-Mouth
SMS text messaging is the most widely used data app in the world, with approximately 4.7 billion active users.

7. Cheap Connection
A text message originally cost nothing; today’s global average price is $0.11 per message – grossing over $114.6 billion in 2010.

8. Baby-oh-Baby
Mobile users 18 to 24 years old exchange an average of 109.5 messages a day – more than 3,200 texts per month.

9. Lost in Translation
Studies show that about 1 to 5% of text messages are lost entirely, even during normal operating conditions.

10. Txt Me
78% of all mobile phone subscribers use SMS text messaging.

11. Distraction are Killer
Over one third of drivers (37%) have sent or received texts while driving, and 18% say they do it regularly.

12. Sexting
12% of moms use their phones to text/call while in bed w/ their partner & 1 in 5 use it while in the bathroom.

13. Detroit Scandal
In 2008, Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigned and served 120 days in jail after a scandal involving over 14,000 texts with his chief of staff/paramour.

14. Naughty List
At least 80% of young adults in relationships send or receive naughty texts; 60% exchange photos or videos.

15. Record Time
According to Guinness, the UK’s Melissa Thompson set the record for typing & sending the fastest touchscreen text: 25.94 seconds.

16. A First Fight
In ‘08 Obama announced his VP nomination via text message. In ‘12 Romney countered & announced his VP nomination via cell app.

17. The First Man
Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign was the first in history to accept donations via text. Supporters texted GIVE to 62262.

18. Oh Hillary
In one week, Texts from Hillary gained 83,000 FB shares & 8,400 Twitter followers after posting pics of Hillary Clinton texting.

2007 marked the first year that Americans sent and received more texts per month than phone calls.

20. Real Time Charitable Giving
11% of mobile phone users have made a charitable donation by text.

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