First text message sent 20 years ago today

December 3, 2012 2:52:32 PM PST
It may seem hard to believe but the first text was sent 20 years ago today.

On Dec. 3, 1992, the first telephone text message was sent by British engineer Neil Papworth, who transmitted the greeting "Merry Christmas" from his work computer in Newbury, Berkshire, to Vodafone executive Richard Jarvis' mobile phone.

SMS, or short messaging service, has declined in popularity in recent years because of free alternatives like Skype and Twitter.

However, texting remains the most widely used application in the world. Eighty-one percent of mobile phone subscribers text.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.