Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

The evolution of the text message [Infographic]

Author's avatar By Robert Allen 23 Aug, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Chart the evolution of Text Messaging and see how businesses learned to harness this technology.

While SMS messaging is ubiquitous in our daily lives, it was a ground breaking technology when it was first envisioned 31 years ago. The simple SMS has evolved over time, and revolutionised the way in which we communicate. From messaging for personal use to messaging for marketing, SMS messaging is used in a variety of manners.

The first text message was sent in 1992, between two developers at Sema Group Telecoms and simply read ‘Merry Christmas’. What started as a small technology became one of the most widely used communication tools of modern day. Mobile phones were text enabled in 1993, but it wasn’t until 1999 when SMS messages could be exchanged between different networks that the technology soared.

One of the finest endorsements for the power of text came from then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008, when the presidential candidate used a bulk text messaging system to announce Joe Biden as his running mate. Obama famously created a 'grass roots' campaign, using bulk messaging as one of the many tools which won him the Whitehouse.

So why has SMS messaging flourished, particularly in the context of business? Almost all (90%) of mobile users who participated in an SMS loyalty program felt they had gained value from it, and SMS Marketing coupons are 10x more likely to be redeemed than mail or newspaper coupons. While many fear using SMS for business can be harmful to their brand, customers love them, and SMS Marketing campaigns are opted out less than 5% of the time.

This infographic from Neon SMS charts the evolution of the text message, from the original concept, to the first SMS message, to multimedia messaging and beyond the infographic demonstrates just how individuals and businesses have harnessed this technology.


Auhtor's avatar

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

Recommended Blog Posts