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The term originally referred to messages sent using the Short Message Service (SMS).
It has grown beyond alphanumeric text to include multimedia messages (known as MMS) containing digital images, videos, and sound content, as well as ideograms known as emoji (happy faces, sad faces, and other icons).
In 1933, the German Reichspost (Reich postal service) introduced the first "telex" service.
Friedhelm Hillebrand conceptualised SMS in 1984 while working for Deutsche Telekom.
Like e-mail and voicemail, and unlike calls (in which the caller hopes to speak directly with the recipient), texting does not require the caller and recipient to both be free at the same moment; this permits communication even between busy individuals.
Text messages can also be used to interact with automated systems, for example, to order products or services from e-commerce websites, or to participate in online contests.
Texting is also used to communicate very brief messages, such as informing someone that you will be late or reminding a friend or colleague about a meeting.
Text messages may be sent over a cellular network, or may also be sent via an Internet connection.Text messages are used for personal, family, business and social purposes.Governmental and non-governmental organizations use text messaging for communication between colleagues.The electrical telegraph systems, developed in the early 19th century, used simple electrical signals to send text messages.In the late 19th century, the wireless telegraphy was developed using radio waves.