One billion texts a month are sent in Ireland but use of other social media is now growing. Even the Pope is to have a Twitter account.

Since the first mobile phone text message was sent in 1992, texting has grown exponentially, transforming communications in the process.

On 3 December 1992, English software developer Neil Papworth sent his boss the first commercial Short Message Service (SMS) text message ‘Merry Christmas’ using a personal computer.

It wasn’t until the tenth anniversary of text messaging that I realised like, wow, yeah, that was ten years ago, that was a big thing.

Billions of text messages are sent every day in almost all parts of the words and according to the editor of TechCentral.ie Niall Kitson, texting popularised the mobile phone.

Texting has always been more popular than voice calls really, especially when it came to getting young people to adopt mobile phones.

Texting is hugely popularity with Irish phone users, who send around one billion text messages a month, or 190 per person. One man interviewed says,

It’s great yeah, if you don’t need to speak to someone it’s great.

Text however is coming under pressure from social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter. Exactly twenty years after the first text message was sent, the Vatican launched a personal account for the Pope on Twitter. Nine days later, Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet from @Pontifex.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 December 2012. The reporter is Ray Kennedy.