E-mail messaging from phones, as popularized by NTT Docomo's i-mode and the RIM Black Berry, also typically use standard mail protocols such as SMTP over TCP/IP.
text messaging was the most widely used mobile data service, with 74% of all mobile phone users worldwide, or 2.4 billion out of 3.3 billion phone subscribers, at the end of 2007 being active users of the Short Message Service.
Sprint Telecommunications Venture, a partnership of Sprint Corp. made the initial phone-call to launch the network, calling Mayor Kurt Schmoke in Baltimore.
and three large cable-TV companies, owned 49 percent of APC. One factor in the slow take-up of SMS was that operators were slow to set up charging systems, especially for prepaid subscribers, and to eliminate billing fraud, which was possible by changing SMSC settings on individual handsets to use the SMSCs of other operators.
As of 2017, text messages are used by youth and adults for personal, family and social purposes and in business.
Governmental and non-governmental organizations use text messaging for communication between colleagues.
Advertisers and service providers use direct text marketing to send messages to mobile users about promotions, payment due dates, and other notifications instead of using postal mail, email, or voicemail.
Text messages may be sent over a cellular network, or may also be sent via an Internet connection.
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).
As with emailing, in the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages has become an accepted part of many cultures.
This makes texting a quick and easy way to communicate with friends and colleagues, including in contexts where a call would be impolite or inappropriate (e.g., calling very late at night or when one knows the other person is busy with family or work activities).