Text messaging is responsible for much of today's communication. This way of expressing began to gain strength in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the emergence of ICQ and MSN, two tools that were widely used by young people and which are the starting point of the evolution of messages, which will be addressed in this subject. MSN, for example, already provided features such as emoticons, which today are called emojis and are used daily as a form of communication.
In less than ten years, the habit of communicating via messages was consolidated, and several innovations were launched to meet the new demands of users. Platforms like WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and many others have emerged. The focus, which was previously only on text messaging, now incorporates audio, image and video capabilities, diversifying the possibilities offered by older programs. Check below the list with the key points of this evolution of messages.
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Evolution of the form of text message communication Photo: Arte / Fernanda Lutfi
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In the 1990s, the phrase Me gives your ICQ number? It was the fashion of the moment. The dial-up Internet has begun to allow people to communicate instantly via text messages without the implied waiting that exists in an email, for example. Created by young Israelis in 1996 for the Windows 95 platform, ICQ reached the milestone of 1 million users on May 20, 1997. But despite its great success for such a young company in the early 2000s, the popularity of ICQ declined in Brazil. This was due to a new messenger known as MSN.
"What is your ICQ number?" Photo: Divulgao / ICQ
Nicknames, subnicks, colorful letters, emoticons and the possibility of drawing the attention of another user. It was these features of MSN that began beating ICQ and also introducing a new method of online communication that still prevails today. In 2001, a strong marketing campaign was launched for MSN Messenger that focused on the young audience, with commercials shown on television channels like MTV and radio stations like Young Pan. As we are talking about music, another very MSN feature Used was what showed which songs in your playlist were playing at the time you were online.
MSN features still in use today Photo: Playback / MSN
The text messaging system called SMS ("Short Message Service") emerged to meet a need that previous services did not meet: communication outside the internet. Unlike ICQ and MSN, which required the user to have access to a computer with an Internet connection, SMS messages could be sent using the cellular network. However, the service was paid for and there was a limitation of characters that could be written in each text message sent.
SMS and text communication done offline Photo: Reproduction / Fernanda Lutfi
Those who follow this evolution should remember the difficulty of writing when the keypads on the phones were only numeric and each letter corresponded to a number of clicks on each button. Then came Blackberry-style phones, which were wider than the others and had a keyboard with letters, not just numbers. In other words, communication was increasingly consolidated via text messaging, a format with which young people quickly adapted.
This is the application that emerged to consolidate all the facilities already mentioned above. Like ICQ, messages are answered instantly; As with MSN, you can use emojis and GIFs to express feelings and sensations; And as in SMS the user has access to the features of the app through the mobile device, besides being free. It is therefore no wonder that WhatsApp has quickly achieved success and become indispensable for much of the population, with users of all ages. Currently, the messenger is the most popular app in the world.
WhatsApp is consolidating the new way of communicating Photo: Marvin Costa / TechTudo
A number of applications have features such as Stories, which are a temporary communication format, available only for a certain period of time, and then deleted. The feature became popular with Snapchat and was later incorporated by a number of others such as Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. Unlike its precursors, such as MSN and ICQ, here communication is not just via text messaging through Direct. There is still the possibility to incorporate audio and video in order to make the communication more dynamic.
Snapchat popularizes communication through the Stories feature Photo: Carolina Ochsendorf / TechTudo
It is also possible to realize that now communication is not only intended to pass information to a specific user, but to show everyday facts to a number of people who have access to a particular social network.
RCS is a recent attempt to make SMS successful and incorporate features in apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and iMessage. New features such as the ability to send audio, images, videos, emojis and stickers bring you closer to current applications, as they are functions that did not exist in the SMS system. However, being a new service, RCS still has a number of limitations, as it is not available on all carriers, and cannot be used on iOS devices.
RCS promises similar features to WhatsApp and Telegram Photo: Reproduction / Luciana Maline
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