Text messaging is now 20 years old.
SMS (for short message service), which uses just 190 bytes of data to send up to 160 characters, started in 1992. The first text message was “Happy Christmas” from developer Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis, of Vodafone.
Now, of course, it’s an enormous business, reports CNN. With more than 6 billion text messages sent each day just in the U.S., the amount of people using their thumbs and shortening their speech is astounding.
But some say that 2013 could be the peak for the technology. With new smartphones offering cheaper, or even free, alternatives to the service that wireless providers charge for, the growth in texting is finally slowing.
Here are some facts about texting:
- 75% of U.S. teens send a message every day
- Women use emoticons, : – ) and so on, twice as often as men
- Melissa Thompson is the world’s fastest texter, according to the Guiness Book of World Records
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