(CNN) – The first ever text message was sent on this day 20 years ago by Neil Papworth.The first text wasn’t sent from a cell phone. Instead it was sent from a computer terminal to a colleague’s cellphone with the message, “Merry Christmas.”
Texting didn’t surge in popularity until it eventually became cheaper than calling. It’s the most widely used app in the world with 81 percent of all mobile phone subscribers using it.
Free alternatives like instant messaging apps are increasing in popularity and contributing to the decline of the text message.
Papworth is a computer scientist from the United Kingdom. He developed the SMS, (Short Message Service) when he was helping to create new software for Vodafone UK.