The Text Capital of the World
In 1995, the Short Message Service was introduced to Filipinos as a promotional gimmick but soon proved to be a useful substitute for telephone calls. At first, only the elderly and hearing impaired caught on. Since the service was free with subscription, it wasn’t long before the public enrolled as they saw a way to exploit the system to communicate freely without being charged. When businesses began to catch on and saw how they were losing money, users began getting charged one Peso for every message sent. At the time, this equated to less than half a penny in United States Currency. Since SMS’s proved to still be more economically affordable, the trend continued to grow and spread. According to 2009 statistics, about 80% of the Philippines population was subscribed to the service, and on average over 1.39 billion messages were being sent daily. The country became known as the unofficial “text capital of the world;” a title it maintained up until the early 2000’s.