Text messaging

A text message using SMS – the 160 character limit led to the abbreviations of "SMS language"
A text message on an iPhone announcing an AMBER Alert
A multimedia message displayed on a mobile phone
SMS is used to send "welcome" messages to mobile phones roaming between countries. Here, T-Mobile welcomes a Proximus subscriber to the UK, and Base welcomes an Orange UK customer to Belgium.
This sticker seen in Paris satirizes the popularity of communication in SMS shorthand. In French: "Is that you? / It's me! / Do you love me? / Shut up!"
A driver with attention divided between a mobile phone and the road ahead
Two girls text during class at school
A text message that (he says) promises 500 Libyan dinars ($400) to anyone who "makes noise" in support of Gaddafi in the coming days
A recruitment ban in French SMS language: «Slt koi29 on é jamé 2tro @ s batre pour la P. ;-)» = «''Salut! Quoi de neuf? On n'est jamais de trop à se battre pour la Paix!»
Some health organizations manage text messaging services to help people avoid smoking

Act of composing and sending electronic messages, typically consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters, between two or more users of mobile devices, desktops/laptops, or another type of compatible computer.

- Text messaging

500 related topics



An SMS message written on a Motorola RAZR V3
E.161, a common mobile keypad alphabet layout
A Siemens wireless landline telephone that is capable of SMS
SMS messages sent monthly in the U.S. from 2001 to 2008 (in billions)
An example of a phishing attack through SMS, showing a fake message and URL claiming to be from Apple

SMS (Short Message Service) is a text messaging service component of most telephone, Internet, and mobile device systems.


Station-to-station switched network of teleprinters similar to a telephone network, using telegraph-grade connecting circuits for two-way text-based messages.

A Teletype Model 32 used for Telex service
A late-model British Telecom "Puma" telex machine of the 1980s

Telex served as the forerunner of modern fax, email, and text messaging – both technically and stylistically.


For technical reasons, search terms like ";;" redirect here.

A smiley-face emoticon
Examples of kaomoji smileys
Cover of the French magazine Le Charivari, text of a legal ruling against it in the shape of a pear, 1834.
Transcript of a speech by Abraham Lincoln in 1862
"Typographical art" published in the March 30, 1881 issue of Puck
Kaomoji on a Japanese NTT Docomo mobile phone
A Kaomoji painting in Japan
The Japanese custom of dogeza
Patented drop down menu for composing phone mail text message with emoticons.

As SMS mobile text messaging and the Internet became widespread in the late 1990s, emoticons became increasingly popular and were commonly used in texting, Internet forums, and e-mails.

Fire alarm system

A fire alarm system warns people when smoke, fire, carbon monoxide or other fire-related emergencies are detected.

A fire alarm notification appliance widely used in the United States and Canada, pictured is a Wheelock MT-24-LSM.
A fire alarm control panel
Fire Alarm Speaker and Pull Station
Fire alarm pull station
A speaker and a remote light
A fire alarm notification appliance in Sweden
A combined fire alarm/general alert notification appliance allows a single device to serve fire alarm and general emergency notification purposes.
Coded fire alarm pull station below a 10 in bell.

Mass notification systems often extend the notification appliances of a standard fire alarm system to include PC based workstations, text-based digital signage, and a variety of remote notification options including email, text message, RSS feed, or IVR-based telephone text-to-speech messaging.

Instant messaging

Instant messaging systems tend to facilitate connections between specified known users (often using a contact list also known as a "buddy list" or "friend list"), and can be standalone applications or integrated into e.g. a wider social media platform, or a website where it can for instance be used for conversational commerce.

Instant messengers by protocol
A buddy list on Pidgin
2014 recreation screenshot of the original Talkomatic program, released in 1973, on the PLATO system (on an orange plasma display).
Command-line Unix "talk", using a split screen user interface, was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s.
BlackBerry Messenger
Facebook Chat, example of IM through a wider social network that became popular in the late 2000s
Pidgin's tabbed chat window in Linux
A user of a mobile device communicating with an instant messenger rather than SMS

It is usually distinguished from text messaging which is typically simpler and normally uses cellular phone networks.

Over-the-top media service

Media service offered directly to viewers via the Internet.

Ranking Digital Rights indicator scores for policy transparency in regards to third-party requests for content or account restriction

OTT messaging is defined as instant messaging services or online chat provided by third parties, as an alternative to text messaging services provided by a mobile network operator.


Method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices.

This screenshot shows the "Inbox" page of an email client; users can see new emails and take actions, such as reading, deleting, saving, or responding to these messages.
The at sign, a part of every SMTP email address
When a "robot" on Wikipedia makes changes to image files, the uploader receives an email about the changes made.
Email operation
The interface of an email client, Thunderbird.

Young people preferred instant messaging, texting and social media.

One-time password

Password that is valid for only one login session or transaction, on a computer system or other digital device.

MasterCard SecureCode uses OTAC to confirm a user's identity
One time authorization code as used in Yammer's desktop client
RSA SecurID security tokens.
Paper-based OTP web-site login

A common technology used for the delivery of OTPs is text messaging.

2005 Cronulla riots

The 2005 Cronulla riots were a race riot in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

NSW Police observing crowds prior to confrontations
Crowd with mounted police and ambulance in background. Near North Cronulla Beach First Aid room
Police presence at Peryman Square, Cronulla. 12 December 2015

Following the reporting of this event by the tabloid media and "shock jocks" on local radio, a racially motivated gathering was organised via chain texting for the following weekend.

Data retention

Data retention defines the policies of persistent data and records management for meeting legal and business data archival requirements.

This simple model summarises a presentation by Venkatraman in 1996, as reported by Ward and Peppard (2002, page 207).

The NSA records SMS and similar text messages worldwide through DISHFIRE.