The Genesis of Text Messaging


We’ve now entered a time when taking an actual phone call is a thing of the past. The majority of people now say they’d rather communicate via text than with a phone call. No one wants to answer an unknown number, regardless of the context of their situation.

Text messaging allows you to receive a message and know the purpose of the communication without having to answer the phone. But, when did this all begin? And how is text messaging mostly utilized today?

The Birth of the Text Message

While history shows us a few different versions of a message being sent via radio waves, the actual text message, or SMS (Short Message Service), is more commonly attributed to Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert in 1984.

Hillebrand was at home typing out random and commonly shared messages on his typewriter and counted out each letter, space, and word. He realized that more often than not, the messages were about 160 characters, proving that communication could be shortened and still remain effective. Together with Ghillebaert, they pitched the idea to a Franco-German telecommunication group which helped them build onto the concept.

However, the first actual text message was sent in 1992 by Neil Papworth, a developer from Sema Group Telecom. It was sent from a PC and it simply said, “Merry Christmas.”

Today’s Applications

Most people today prefer to communicate via text message. Text messaging allows you to answer messages at your own convenience, communicate more quickly and effectively, and send information to groups of people instantly.

Text messages are now a primary mode of communication for customer service representatives as well. Sending text messages for deliveries, tech support, retail coupons, appointments, and many more purposes have become the easiest and most successful way to share information. Ultimately, a text service for business is now one of the most beneficial tools for any business in any industry.

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