Today is a special anniversary for the communications industry - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Today is a special anniversary for the communications industry

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"Texting" had a slow start, but eventually it surged in popularity. "Texting" had a slow start, but eventually it surged in popularity.

It was 20 years ago, today, that Neil Papworth sent the first-ever text message.

He had to use a computer terminal to send the message to a colleague's cell phone: "Merry Christmas."

"Texting" had a slow start, but eventually it surged in popularity -- especially when it became cheaper than calling.

It is the single most-widely used application in the world; 81-percent of mobile phone subscribers use it.

Now, free alternatives like instant messaging apps are becoming more and more popular, and text messaging is in decline.

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