The History of SMS

Ever stopped to think about the history of SMS (Short Message Service)?

Also known as text messaging, this ubiquitous form of communication has been around for 30 years. Yet, it remains an essential part of our daily lives.

The first SMS was sent on December 3rd, 1992, and it's come a long way since its humble beginnings.

The Concept of text messaging

The history of SMS is a long one. The concept of text messaging was first proposed in the late 1970s by a German engineer, Friedhelm Hillebrand and his French colleague, Bernard Ghillebaert. 

They envisioned a way for people to send short messages to one another using mobile phones.

History of SMS

But as with all brilliant concepts, it required a viable technical solution. This was shaped by others: Finn Trosby, Kevin Holley, and Ian Harris.

Their work made it possible for the first text message to be sent to a mobile phone in 1992 by Neil Papworth, a British software developer, on a Vodafone GSM network. The message simply read, 'Merry Christmas'.

The evolution of SMS

The history of SMS

In the early days, text messaging was primarily used as a way to send short, simple messages to one another. It was not until the late 1990s and early 2000s that text messaging really took off. 

This was due in part to the widespread adoption of mobile phones and the development of more advanced text messaging systems.

In the early 2000s, text messaging became popular in the United States and other parts of the world. People started using text messaging to stay in touch with friends and family, and businesses began to use it as a way to reach customers. 

Today, text messaging is used for everything from scheduling appointments to sending marketing messages.

SMS is no longer about sending messages from your phone!

SMS evolution

In recent years, SMS has evolved further with the introduction of applications that have made text messaging even more convenient and accessible. And these have become an essential part of our daily lives.

Text messaging, then, is no longer just about sending messages from your phone. For example, organizations now rely heavily on communication and collaboration tools to stay connected. Chief among these tools is Microsoft Teams. This has become an increasingly popular UC&C choice for team collaboration and messaging. 

And now, it's possible for businesses to send SMS messages directly from Teams to their customers and clients.

Third-party applications like YakChat enable organizations to instantly integrate SMS to their Microsoft Teams platform. This gives businesses the ability to use the same platform for both team collaboration and customer communication. And that means they can streamline workflow and reduce the need to switch between different tools. 

'While some might argue that SMS has lost ground in the messaging platform popularity race, the results of our research show quite the opposite'

Nikhil Shoorji, Infobip. Source The Independent

SMS: The future of e-commerce

There's no doubt that text messaging has come a long way since its first message was sent in 1992. And its popularity shows no signs of declining, despite the plethora of other communication platforms available. 

Indeed, according to new data from Infobip,* SMS is the future of e-commerce. 

'While some might argue that SMS has lost ground in the messaging platform popularity race,'  Infobip UK country manager, Nikhil Shoorji, states, 'the results of our research show quite the opposite.' 

That should come as no surprise, says David Ward, CEO and founder of

'According to recent statistics, as many as 63% of users globally rely on SMS as their primary messaging platform. That's simply because text messaging is the most ubiquitous and uncomplicated messaging platform around. SMS, moreover, boasts the highest open rates of any other messaging platform. No wonder, then, that SMS technology has grown rapidly in the 30 years since its first message was sent. It's a staggering fact,' Ward continued, 'that today, 23 billion SMS messages are send worldwide on a daily basis: Think about it. That's 270,000 texts every second.'

SMS, then, has, quite simply, revolutionized the way we communicate with one another. From a simple way to send short messages, SMS has evolved into a powerful and hugely effective communication tool: One on which the world relies: Now and into the future.

23 billion SMS messages are sent worldwide on a daily basis. [...] That's 270,000 texts every second.

David Ward, CEO YakChat

About YakChat

Powering SMS and MMS  for Microsoft 365 and Cisco's collaboration platform, YakChat equips organizations to send and receive texts directly from within Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Webex. Enabling secure multi-factor authentication (MFA) across your team and automated SMS workflows across your organization, YakChat extends the communication and collaboration power of your UC&C platforms, unleashing maximum value for users.

* Source, The Independent Online, December 2022. The original article can be read here.