Signal Vine Blog: Text Me Back

7 Things You Didn't Know About Texting

Posted by Miranda Palter on June 9, 2016
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Texting is everywhere and everyone texts, but how much do you actually know about texting? You might know how to send an emoji, but do you know what the first text message said? We've gathered seven of the best texting facts to share with you - enjoy! 

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 "Merry Christmas” was the first text message.

On December 3, 1992, Neil Papworth sent the first ever text message: "Merry Christmas."

160 characters is "perfectly sufficient."

Why are texts limited to 160 characters? Communications expert Friedhelm Hillebrand observed that most sentences stay within 160 characters and most postcards are fewer than 150 characters, so 160 was deemed the "perfectly sufficient" number of characters!

Twitter retweeted SMS.

Twitter was originally developed to send SMS to thousands of subscribers at a time. To keep tweets under 160 characters, each tweet was shortened to 140 characters. The remaining 20 characters are reserved for the username.

Everyone texts.

97% of Americans use text messaging at least once per day, regardless of income or demographic. 

Seriously, everyone texts.

An Experian study found that 94% of seniors (ages 70+) send text messages on a weekly basis.  

Virtually every text message is read.

This should come as no surprise: 98% of text messages are opened. Compare that to email, which has a 20% open rate (and that includes personal emails!).

Texting is instantaneous.  

While the average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, it takes only 90 seconds to respond to a text.   

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Topics: Research, Facts, Texting