Twitter Cuts SMS Updates For UK

August 14, 2008

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Bad news if you use Twitter and live in the UK. The announcement was made yesterday on Twitter’s blog:

 

Changes for Some SMS Users—Good and Bad News (via Readburner)

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see much of a “good” side to this one. Bottom line: if you’re based in the UK, or anywhere other than the US, Canada or India, you won’t be able to receive updates from anyone you follow on Twitter. You can still send updates via SMS, but you won’t get anything back.

The reasoning is simple: Twitter released their SMS service without any deals in place, so they foot the bill for all update text messages. The blog post estimates a potential $1,000/user charge per year, which, if accurate, would be an astronomically huge hit for Twitter to take.

Talks with mobile operators in several European countries are “ongoing”, apparently. Chances are the deal will eventually be done with only a select few, just like Facebook which has a deal with O2 here in the UK.

Whatever the outcome, this is yet more bad press for Twitter. This is currently the top item at Techmeme, and it’s spawned a number of angry posts in the related Get Satisfaction thread. It seems the Australians are particularly upset that Twitter didn’t remember Oz wasn’t in Euroland…

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