Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twitter drops text message support in UK

Popular microblogging system Twitter has dropped text message support in the UK, leaving British users stranded without full service.The site, which allows users to send messages to individuals or friends over the web, text or instant messaging, will continue to allow people to send messages to Twitter by mobile, but will no longer deliver updates and messages to people over SMS. The move does not affect users in the US, Canada and India.In an email to users last night, co-founder Biz Stone explained that the company could no longer afford to support outbound SMS until it had made better billing arrangements with Britain's mobile phone operators."It pains us to take this measure. However, we need to avoid placing undue burden on our company and our service," he said.
Social networking: Twitter drops text message support in UK | Technology |

Two points from this article.  First of all... the problem of relying on a third party for a web 2.0 service in education rearing its head again.  Design in the use of SMS updates for mobile learning... and... poof!  One minute they're there... the next they're not... and there's not a thing you can do about it.

Secondly... are we getting to the point where SMS integration no longer matters that much?  Okay, so I'm mildly luddite-esque when it comes to using a mobile phone (note to self: find mobile phone), but that doesn't mean that others haven't found the SMS facility the sticky factor when it comes to using Twitter.  Does the advent of iPhone-ing mean that SMS is no longer the essential it used to be anyway?  Why get a lousy text-based update on your mobile phone when an all-singing and dancing one can appear on your snazzy iPhone.  Obviously after you've shelled out an arm, a leg, a kidney and half an ear lobe for the iPhone and sold your first born to afford the contract... but... SMS is a bit of a poor relation to the 'real thing', isn't it?  Wonder how long it'll be before we think 'how quaint' about SMS being even vaguely that important?
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  1. Have to admit that I never used the SMS function in Twitter purely because any charges are not included in my free monthly text allowances!


    explains why and says that "Twitter will be introducing several new, local SMS numbers in countries throughout Europe, in the coming weeks and months. These new numbers will make Twittering more accessible for all the folks who have been using SMS to send long-distance updates through our UK number.".

  3. I've updated from the mobile but turned off receiving directs to the mobile because they were a) frying my head, b) filling my mobile SMS capacity, c) arriving at all sorts of random times and d) rarely that important.

    I do get why they might be important to some folk though

  4. Interesting to hear how you guys are / aren't using SMS with Twitter. For me, using the web version was a boring non-starter... but finding a desktop client made it a whole lot prettier and more friendly. I can see how a smallish thing like SMS, esp. for the text-addicted generation ( (c)new invented generational labels 'r' us *grin*) so here's hoping that Twitter find a way to dig themselves out of this particular communication hole.


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