Texting is commonly known as the quickest and most convenient means of communication. SMS, which is a Short Message Service, was the origin of all the existing messengers and mailing services.
This worldwide phenomenon branded the new way we communicate and opened incredible marketing opportunities for businesses. We offer you to learn about twelve fun facts about text messaging.
12 Text messaging facts you probably didn’t know
- Smartphones for messages
Mobile phones are almost no longer used for calling. Most people prefer texting rather than making calls to talk. Messaging function almost replaced calling. Now texting is the second most popular use for a phone. By the way, the first is time checking.
- Inventor and loser
A Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen is said to be the creator of the Short Message Service. He suggested it in 1984, at a scientific conference. But he did not get paid for the invention because he had not applied for a patent. Instead, the official developers of the SMS technology are his colleagues from that event.
- SMS as a part of business strategy
The UK mobile service providers did not allow crossing the networks for sending messages till 1999. People could only text one another within a single mobile network. And that was nothing but attempts to gather and keep groups of people using certain mobile services.
- The best-recognized beep in Morse
If you have ever used a Nokia phone, you must remember their original beep signalizing about the incoming SMS. Apart from it being the most popular sound, it contained a “hidden” message. This sound means “SMS” in Morse code.
- BlackBerry thumb
Scientists discovered a new medical condition — texting tenosynovitis caused by a habit of typing. People who overuse phones for texting suffer from inflamed tendons of the thumb. The syndrome is also known as the BlackBerry thumb.
- The fixed volume of a message
Originally, all the messages had a fixed volume of 160 characters. Friedhelm Hillebrand suggested this standard after one of his communication studies. It showed that 160 characters are pretty enough to type almost anything people might like to tell one another via SMS messages.
- SMS and size of tweets
The text limit of 160 characters inspired Twitter developers to apply this principle in their creation. Due to this, they managed to make this social media simple and accessible to all users. Tweets are short and easy to read, just like the text in a message.
- Effective marketing tool
Texting to consumers was always an integral part of any SMS campaign and used to be one of the most effective marketing tools. But manual messaging to every single person was at least time-consuming. Thanks to technologies, today we can use bulk SMS services, e.g. BSG World, and send messages to hundreds of people per sec.
- SMS language and emoji
The 160 character limit of one text message was not enough. People started adopting and purposely missing letters in words and creating abbreviations in their SMS messages. This phenomenon is called “txt spk”, and it is widely used today as well. The most famous example is “LOL” for “laughing out loud”. By the way, since 2011, LOL has officially been considered a word. It even was added to the Oxford Dictionary.
The word limit also caused the invention of smiles and emojis we can see in any existing messenger. Originally, people used punctuation marks to show emotions and save space.
- Merry Christmas
The first message sent by the SMS technology was received by the Vodafone director Richard Jarvis at a Christmas party from Neil Papworth in 1992. The text said: “Merry Christmas”.
- SMS voting
The Eurovision song contest management made a groundbreaking decision and introduced voting via SMS in 2002. That was the first time the system had been applied in a global-scale event.
- Surgery by text
In 2008, physician-volunteer David Nott carried out a surgery to amputate the clavicle and scapula in Congo. He managed to save a life by following all the advice in incoming SMS from his classmate based in England.
Texting was a revolutionary phenomenon that continues evolving and changing our lives. The current forms originated from SMS gave us valuable opportunities to communicate and apply texting in SMS campaigns.