OMG! 1st txt sent 20yrs ago, 4 realz - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

OMG! 1st txt sent 20yrs ago, 4 realz

A British software engineer sent the world's first text message 20 years ago. (Source: CNN) A British software engineer sent the world's first text message 20 years ago. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Monday is a special anniversary for the communications industry. It was 20 years ago that Neil Papworth sent the first ever text message.

He had to use a computer terminal to send the message to a colleague's cell phone: "Merry Christmas."

Texting had a slow start, but eventually it surged in popularity, especially when it became cheaper than calling.

It is the single most-widely used application in the world - 81percent of mobile phone subscribers use it.

Now, free alternatives like instant messaging apps are becoming more and more popular, and text messaging is in decline.

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