On December 3, 1992, a 22-year-old engineer named Neil Papworth sent the first-ever text message to his friend Richard Jarvis. It was sent from his PC computer, and Jarvis had no way of inputting a reply into his Orbitel 901 landline phone, but it was nevertheless the advent of a new type of communication. Nokia didn’t debut the first text message-enabled phone until 1993, and texting remained expensive and inconvenient for years after that, but by 2008 it had become a part of daily life.
Texting hit its peak in 2011 – the same year Apple debuted iMessage – and as we can see in this chart from Statista, it was all downhill from there. At the time mobile carriers were still charging fees for texting plans, and iMessage presented a cheaper and faster alternative. Today, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchat dominate the messaging space, and it seems that SMS messaging is on its way to becoming a relic of the past.
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