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This article was published on August 14, 2008


Old phone user? So long for mobile Twittering

Old phone user? So long for mobile Twittering
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

This morning I received an email from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. He told me, and every other Twitter user who doesn’t live in the U.S., India, or Canada, that receiving text messages from the micro blogging service is now history. Why? Because none of the British mobile operators fancies a partnership with Twitter. He writes:

Mobile operators in most of the world charge users to send updates. When you send one message to Twitter and we send it to ten followers, you aren’t charged ten times–that’s because we’ve been footing the bill. When we launched our free SMS service to the world, we set the clock ticking. As the service grew in popularity, so too would the price.

Well, the service is too popular now for Stone and Williams to cover the costs. Even with a limit of 250 messages received per week, it could cost Twitter about $1,000 per user, per year, to send SMS outside of Canada, India, or the US.

I don’t really mind though, ’cause I recently bought an iPhone. But if I still used my crappy Nokia, mobile Twittering would have been history. Since that’s only possible if your phone has a browser (Slandr) or email support (Twittermail).

So long for Twitter users with old phones, they’ll have to wait till Twitter has introduced several new, local SMS numbers in countries throughout Europe in the coming weeks and months.