25th anniversary of the world's first-ever text message

Monday, December 4, 2017
25th anniversary of the text message
EMBED <>More Videos

The first-ever text message was sent 25 years ago.

NEW YORK -- It's been 25 years since the world's first-ever text message was sent, an innovation that has shaped modern communication.

The first text message was sent in December 1992.

It read "Merry Christmas," and it was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth to the head of telecommunications company Vodafone as the company celebrated its Christmas party.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

At the time, phones could only receive messages, so it was sent using a computer.

Experts describe it as the first step toward the modern smartphone.

"I never got a free beer out of it or anything like that but I'm proud and I'm happy that I did what I did," said Papworth.

It took nearly a year to develop the technology for phones to also send text messages.