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Yale Man
Yale Man, writer, reviewer & cultural critic
Category: Entertainment
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Experience:  BA, English, Yale University; freelance writer and editor with over 70 published articles
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when did text messaging become popular

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Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Entertainment
Expert:  Yale Man replied 10 years ago.
The service protocol known as SMS (Short Message Service) was originally developed in the 1980s, but it wasn't until December 3, 1992 that the first text message was sent. Even then, it took some time for cell phone companies and its users to catch on to this new technology. In 1995, an average of 0.4 messages per user, per month (fewer than 5 messages per year!) was reported by Vodafone GSM, the network to carry that first text message. By 2000, that number was up to 35 messages per user (only about 1.5 messages per month, an increase of 375%).

The time between 2000 and 2001 marked the largest increase in worldwide SMS traffic. In 2000, there were 17 billion text messages sent worldwide, but by 2001, this had grown to 250 billion. This is an annual increase of 1470%!

As with many technological adaptations, this sudden spike was likely due to many factors, including the proliferation of cell phones, customer familiarity with SMS protocol (i.e., common text-message abbreviations), technological issues related to billing, and the diminishing price of such services.

TTFN! (translation: Ta-Ta For Now!)