What better way to celebrate our first Mobile Monday than with a birthday. Eveyone loves birthday’s right?

Twenty years ago today on Dec. 3, 1992, the text message was born when Neil Papworth, then a 22-year-old Semea Group Telecoms test engineer, sent holiday cheer in the form of “Merry Christmas” to Richard Jarvis at Vodafone. Keyboards were absent then from cell phones, so Papworth had to use a PC. 

Hear from Neil Papworth himself:


In the 20 years since that holiday greeting was received, text messaging has certainly matured into an essential part of our everyday life. Just look at your phone and count the number of messages you received in the last 24 hours alone. 

Here’s a quick look at some impactful facts:

  • Upwards of 95 percent of text messages are read within minutes
  • It’s the largest mobile marketing channel by revenue
  • Mobile coupon redemption rates are 10 times higher than traditional coupons

And more and more brands are interacting with consumers via text message. Consumer brands like Starbucks, Redbox, Reebok and Lane Bryant use SMS campaigns to alert customers about deals and coupons, and AT&T uses it to tell you when you’re about to hit your data limit or need to pay your bill.

SMS may no longer officially be a teenager, but it will continue to grow, mature and challenge what it means for brands and consumers to interact with one another via smartphone. 

What brands do you interact with via text?