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Twitter Gets More SMS-Friendly

Twitter Launches a Bunch of New Text Message Features

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Twitter users in the U.S. can now follow Twitter accounts via SMS without actually signing up for Twitter. You can also now sign up for Twitter via SMS . To follow someone this way, text "follow UserNameHere" to 40404. To Sign up, text "Signup".

"We’ve always been big fans of trusty SMS messaging. In fact, sending a text was originally the only way users could tweet. This is why Tweets are 140 characters — they need to fit into a text message," says Twitter’s Leland Rechis. "We value SMS because it’s simple, instant and universal."

Users can also now get SMS alerts from Twitter accounts they wish to. From a computer, you can hover over a user’s name or avatar, and click on the little phone icon that appears in the "hovercard". You will then get a text every time that user tweets – probably not a good idea unless you have an unlimited text plan. You can also set alerts from your phone by sending "on [username]" or "off [username]" to 40404. You can send "on" or "off" to start and stop text messages altogether.

Finally, if you text "get [username]" the user’s most recent tweet will be sent to you phone. There are more commands here.

In other Twitter news, Mashable is reporting that the company will launch its official Tweet button this week. This is for publishers to stick on their content and increase traffic.

Twitter Gets More SMS-Friendly
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  • http://www.hot.com.au Patrick.S

    I did’nt know that sending a text was originally the only way users could tweet but that answered why tweets are only limited to 140 chracters. It’s a great idea that we can now follow or receive alerst by SMS specially for busy people that would have more time using their mobile than a PC.

  • http://twitter.com/John_Westra John Westra

    Twitters support for sending messages to SMS subscribers is terrific news for any organization or group that wants a drop dead solution for keeping members informed about news and events in “real-time!” All that’s required is a protected Twitter account that people subscribe to using the SMS option.

    This really expands SMS’s usefulness. People can now make use of all of the content syndication options available to Twitter, to push information from other applications out through this new Twitter-RSS interface. I think this also lowers the bar on for-profit notification services.

    Uses that spring to mind include: (There are probably thousands!)

    > Emergency Management Response
    > School Closure Notification
    > Event Notification
    > Wedding Planning
    > Sporting Event Updates
    > Building Maintenance / Security
    > Etc.

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