Business VoIP Featured Article

SMS Texting Undergoes Transformative 30-year Journey

December 28, 2022

By Greg Tavarez, Business VoIP Editor

The business and consumer relationship is not what it was a decade ago, due to the evolution of technology and constantly changing customer demands. For one thing, customers today want faster ways to interact with their favorite brands. One way to do that is through SMS texting – which also leverages consumers’ favorite communication channel.

A little more than eight out of 10 Americans text regularly today, sending out more than 6 billion texts a day. Consumers don’t bat an eye when it comes to communicating via text. It’s just so natural to them now. In fact, of those who text regularly, more than three-fourths prefer to have a text conversation with businesses because it is their go-to-form of communication. But that was not the case 30 years ago when SMS texting came into the fold as a revolutionary means of communication.

And, as a way to celebrate the 30-year SMS texting journey, Infobip’s on-air segment on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” called “Great Moments in Texting History” shows the audience and consumers at home, with Guillermo Rodriguez, where texting transforms from its introduction 30 years ago to the modern day.

The world’s first SMS message is sent from Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis on Dec. 3, 1992, “Merry Christmas.” Nothing special is displayed. No fancy chat bubbles, no name at the top of the phone screen, no timestamps. Just the simple festive message in black text.

The segment then shows how texting is convenient between mother and son in 1999. Sounds adorable, right? But the young boy is upset at his mom for not buying crunchy peanut butter but had no way to show his frustration in the text with emojis not yet invented.

From there, the segment steps into the modern age where emojis and other smartphone enabled media allow consumers to express themselves more through SMS texting.

“With Infobip reaching more than 70% of the mobile phones across the globe, we are thrilled to find a fun and entertaining way to reach new audiences,” said Ivan Ostojic, chief business officer, Infobip.


SMS isn’t stopping either. Infobip sees a 75% year-on-year growth in customer communications, making SMS the go-to channel for time-sensitive alerts and notifications. The next generation of SMS is also on the rise with a 62% increase in RCS interactions from 2021 to 2022, according to Infobip.

Rich communication services build on the foundation created by SMS. Consumers likely already know of it, just not by the official name. It includes videos and GIFs, verified sender information, read receipts and typing indicators. Ultimately, RCS gives organizations more features to better interact with consumers.

Only time will tell where SMS texting goes. But after what seems like a successful and innovative 30 years, consumers and businesses alike should feel confident that communication between the two parties are on the path for more personal interaction experiences.

Edited by Erik Linask


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