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Happy bday 2 u: text messaging turns 20

Twenty years ago today, the first ever text message was sent – reading ‘Merry Christmas’.

Image: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

IT’S BEEN 20 years since the first text message was sent – when an engineer used his computer to sent a ‘Merry Christmas’ message on 3 December 1992.

From its humble beginnings, the SMS (Short Message Service) kicked off an explosive new trend which spawned its own dialect and now currently used by four billion people around the world.

However, despite its popularity over the past two decades, as texting celebrates its 20th anniversary fears are growing over it losing popularity to newer internet-based communications like Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging.

More than 150 billion texts were sent in Britain in 2011 – but its media watchdog Ofcom has nevertheless reported a decline in the volume of texts being sent.

The increase in communications services like Blackberry Messenger (BBM), iMessenger and Google Talk – many of which are free to use on smartphones and tablets – has been identified for the declining popularity of the text message.

Read: Useful Tech Advice of the Day from O2 – turn it off and turn it back on again

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