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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).
As with emailing, in the 2010s, the sending of short informal messages has become an accepted part of many cultures.
When Radiolinja's domestic competitor, Telecom Finland (now part of Telia Sonera) also launched SMS text messaging in 1995 and the two networks offered cross-network SMS functionality, Finland became the first nation where SMS text messaging was offered on a competitive as well as on a commercial basis.
Some text messages such as SMS can also be used for the remote controlling of home appliances. Some amateurs have also built own systems to control (some of) their appliances via SMS.
Other methods such as group messaging, which was patented in 2012 by the GM of Andrew Ferry, Devin Peterson, Justin Cowart, Ian Ainsworth, Patrick Messinger, Jacob Delk, Jack Grande, Austin Hughes, Brendan Blake, and Brooks Brasher are used to involve more than two people into a text messaging conversation of text message that appears directly on the main screen without user interaction and is not automatically stored in the inbox.
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.