SMS message history and facts #1

Let’s take a look at some facts about SMS messages that we covered during April.

The first SMS message ever sent

The first SMS message was sent back in 1992 from Neil Papworth who is a former developer at Seda Group Telecoms. As mobile phones did not have a keyboards at the time, he used a PC to send the message.

The message contained a holiday wish “Merry Christmas” and was sent out to Richard Jarvis who worked at Vodafone. Unfortunately, Jarvis did not have a way to return his wishes as his Orbitel 901 phone had no way of inputting text.

And this is where Finnish phone-maker Nokia comes into play. A year later after the first SMS was sent, Nokia launched a mobile phone that enabled users to send out text messages themselves.

SMS message language is called textese and one SMS is limited to 160 characters

There are a lot of abbreviations such as LOL, BRB, HRU and many many more that have found their way in our everyday communication on the internet. All of these expressions are originated from SMS language that is also known as a textese.

This language was born for a very simple reason - one SMS message limit used to be and in fact is still up to this day 160 characters including spaces. A lot of us might remember it because some time ago our messages got sent out in two parts. While the limit still exists, a more advanced technology called message stitching and also unlimited SMS packages make us not notice that one message is limited to a certain number of characters.

Interestingly, some special characters take up more space than regular ones, for example “ç”,”á”,"é","í","ó","ú","ñ","ä". Using these and some other characters in your message will shorten the whole messages to 70 characters, which is why people tend to use more simple characters and also textese when communicating via SMS.

SMS marketing

One of the reasons that SMS marketing has become so popular is simply because it tends to be very effective. On average, SMS open rate is as high as 98%. When comparing it to email open rate which is less than 25% we can understand why so many companies have chosen to send SMS messages over email to get into contact with their customers.

Furthermore, SMS response rate is almost as high as 50% and on average people respond to the received texts in 90 seconds or less. In comparison, the response time for emails is around 90 minutes.

More interesting facts about SMS message history will be added on our Facebook page every Monday.


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