SMS marks unhappy 21st birthday, trend declines

The humble text message, which celebrates its 21st birthday Sunday, is past its prime for the first time in history, as new figures show a declining trend of SMSing.

After doing everything from sealing deals to shattering hearts for over two decades, text messaging volumes have declined for the first time, a new report has found.

From the world's first message — "Merry Christmas" — on December 3, 1992, the use of texts exploded after 1998 when the UK's four major mobile-phone companies introduced "pay-as-you-go".

New figures from media regulator Ofcom however saw two quarterly declines — by over a billion — in volume of SMSes sent in the US and UK.

"For the first time, SMSes are showing signs of decline," The Independent quoted James Thickett, Ofcom's director of research, as saying.

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