Last Thursday, European Twitterazi experienced a bad start of the day. Their beloved micro blogging service would no longer send SMS updates. Smart phone users can still find ways to receive updates about Twitter conversations. Yet people with less sophisticated mobile devices are in the dark now.
My co-editor Patrick suggested that Twitter should offer a pro-account option, so that people would have to pay for SMS updates. But co-founder Biz Stone wrote on the Twitter blog that he didn’t share this opinion:
International billing is a significant project and not something we are comfortable focusing on before we have a dependable offering. It’s not right to charge for spotty service—and we know there are bugs.
How to get SMS text messages updates
Although Twitter still sends updates to 96 percent of its users, the remaining 4 percent is pretty pissed of. Especially in the UK, Twitter users are quite angry. Read for example the comments on this TechCrunch UK post.
The first commenter on the Techcrunch UK post was Paul Bradshaw from Online Journalism Blog. He called it a “stupid move” and was “in a very bad mood”. He even sacrified his Twitter avatar for the cause. But for Bradshaw, it doesn’t end with just being angry. He’s now actively looking for ways to still get SMS messages from Twitter. Here’s his try:
- Via Jaiku: the invite-only micro blogging service from Google still sends SMS updates to all its users. So a solution would be to feed your Twitter account into Jaiku, then create another account that receives the updates from the first Jaiku account.
- Redirect emails to phone: some mobile operators allow you to forward email via SMS messages to your phone. Create a filter in Gmail that forwards Twitter mail to a special email service of your operator
I realize I’ve described the solutions in a rather cryptic way. Did that on purpose, as I don’t want Bradshaw to miss the reward for his work. So check out the step-for-step instructions on his blog.