10 Surprising Facts About SMS

The SMS has been through a lot. It is almost 25 years old after all. However, unlike other technologies that reached their silver anniversaries, such as cassette tapes, floppy disks, and pagers, the humble SMS is still going strong. While its peers fell to the “what’s new today may already be obsolete tomorrow,” saying, SMS found its niche in the communication scene. It’s racked up its fair share of interesting facts and tidbits over its long life. Below are some of the more “Oooooh”-inducing SMS facts you may not have heard yet.

The first text message was sent in 1992 in the United Kingdom.

Sent by Neil Papworth to Richard Jarvis, you may think that the first SMS exchange used two mobile phones. Nope. Papworth actually used a personal computer to text Jarvis’ Orbitel 901 handset. The message? “MERRY CHRISTMAS”. The rest—as they say—is history.

SMS has a 98% read rate.

We’ve repeated this again and again in other blog posts, but we’ll say it one more time. SMS has a 98% read rate. 90% of texts are also read within 3 seconds of being received. That’s better than the read and open rate of emails, and click-through rate of Facebook ads.

SMS has a 45% response rate.

Almost half of the time, people will respond to a text.

On average, people respond to texts in under 90 seconds; for emails, 90 minutes.

We’ve all been there: waiting on the edge of our seat for a reply that may or may not come. What we probably should have been doing is using the 90 second average reply interval to do something more productive.

Over 70% of smartphone users text, while only 43% make calls.

Smartphones are now more “pocket computers” than just “communication devices.” However, that doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped texting. Rather, over 70% of smartphone users text regularly.

Filipinos send out as much as 400 million text messages on a regular day.

400,000,000. That’s a lot of zeroes. If one person sends one message every second without any breaks, it would take him over 12.5 years to send out 400,000,000 messages. Over the course of a year, the amount of SMS messages Filipinos send totals to over 140 billion text messages. Safe to say, we’re still the text capital of the world.

There are more phones than people in the Philippines.

The latest census puts the country’s population at around 102 million. The current number of phones in rotation in the archipelago? 106 million and that’s not even the latest figure. And because not every Filipino actually owns a phone, we can say that most of us have two or more phones on our person. And while we’re talking about the ratio of phones-to-people…

Phones are more accessible than toilets.

A 2013 United Nations study reported that people have an easier time accessing mobile phones than a toilet. Yep, phones are so prevalent that we’re nearer to one than a throne on which to relieve ourselves. Over 6 billion people have phones, but only 4.5 billion people can go number 1 and number 2 in peace.

Mobile phone coupons have 10 times the redemption rate of their paper counterparts.

And because we’re close to phones, we’d prefer to have our discount and promo coupons in digital form. Paper coupons and tickets are so yesterday that their mobile siblings boast 10x the redemption rate. It makes sense. Mobile coupons are easier to carry around, don’t need to be printed, and tracking their success is infinitely easier.

The iconic Nokia SMS ring tone is Morse Code for “SMS”

Dutdutdut-dut dut-dutdutdut.

SMS is a prime marketing tool

Lastly, SMS is being used as a marketing and communications avenue by some of the biggest brands worldwide. Used to full effect, SMS helps drive business and sales, while also fostering customer relationships. Start your very own SMS campaign today by visiting https://www.mybusybee.net/ (or follow our Official Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/officialbusybee.textblast/) and contacting (02) 929-2222 or (63) 917-837-2000.