The offering from twe2 is simple – Twitter messages to your mobile phone via SMS, for free. The service is paid for by a short ad which follows each SMS message. The service can be customised to only send SMS when you get a direct message, when you have a @reply message, or can search twitter for specific terms.
Twitter stopped allowing SMS as a direct delivery and response mechanism in a number of countries last August, citing rising costs. Although they have said they intend to re-introduce the service, they have still given no timescale for this, or made any specific announcement.
It’s into this gap that TWE2 fits, and the two UK developers behind the service, Paul Rawlings (@prawlings) and Paul Kinlan (@PaulKinlan) also plan to allow replies to twitter messages using SMS in the future, starting with the UK. They have also been ‘whitelisted’ by Twitter, to allow them to gather additional data from the service, and have recently been selected as one of only 150 twitter applications to implement oAuth – enabling users to use applications like Twitter without giving out their password to other applications.
Search Twitter and get SMS alerts with advanced syntax
An additional, innovative use of the service allows advanced syntax searches to be run, so that TWE2 send you interesting SMS updates from general searches of twitter’s stream.
For example, you might want to set up an SMS that will alert you to tweets containing, say, the exact phrase “happy hour” and sent near “amsterdam”. More examples at the TWE2 Blog.