As Twitter withdraws SMS, startups rush to fill the void

Next Story

Study: Wind power = nightmares, inner-ear disturbances – I say FUD

Assuming the founders of Twitter are listening, then they will have been be hearing about the outcry from users outside the US (just read these comments) after they completely cut off all outbound SMS services in the UK and chose not to replace them with premium rate SMS services – services which, surprise, surprise – millions of people in Europe already happily pay for.

But no matter. Twitter’s loss is the startups’ gain, and a number of them are hungrily eyeing up the potential premium-rate SMS market which Twitter has built and bank-rolled as a free service till now.

Just two of them to hit my inbox in the last 12 hours include Zygo Tweet and Tweet SMS.

The latter says “for a low price, tweetSMS can send you individual, hourly or daily updates from all of your friends!”. Though who these guys are is anyone’s guess, and they haven’t told me yet. But they say it will “be available worldwide across almost all carriers” and they “also plan to deploy an ad-based service for free updates.”

Zygo Tweet however are already known to TechCrunch as the guys behind UK-based Zygo Hubs, a mobile startup which could almost be likened to an SMS version of Twitter already.

They are asking people to register their interest – once they hit enough users it’s going to be worth their while to offer the service. I understand it will cost about 5p per message or less, down to 4p in large quantities. As other observers have said, it’s clear that for many people it is the DMs – the direct messages from Twitter on SMS which is the real ‘must have’ part of the service, so 5p is a small price to pay in that respect.

Meanwhile, I would not be surprised to find all sorts of people starting to offer SMS services based on Twitter’s API, but I would certainly be careful who you entrust with your Twitter name and password.

  • Arda Kutsal

    Relying on Twitter API to start a paid service. Scary! :)

  • Paul jensen

    when I was working at naked, we implemented SMS and managed to get some deal to send SMS messages for about £350 per month, so I’m curious to find out why twitted didn’t discreetly shop around for a better deal, kudos on the hunch that they’re hinting at a revenue model. HecK, at naked they’d already setup a feature to post mobile camera shots straight to your wall via your mobile, features linking mobile with online are worth paying for when they are that convenient.

  • ArabCrunch

    i have some more info from Craig Mason stasismedia the compnay behinde TweetSMS

  • ArabCrunch

    I just posted an articale with more info about TweetSMS from one of its team memebrs

  • Ollie Parsley

    Don’t forget is in the mix too. Initial supported countries just announced seconds ago.


  • Matt Hooper

    Some aussies are working on a service for distributing SMS too. I think this will initially be for folks Down Under but has the potential to be available in other countries also.

  • jamie

    does nobody have push email? I get my DMs that way and it’s free.

  • Paul Thompson

    Not me…. I’m just looking fwd to getting all my mates on Jaiku or whatnot so I can abandon twitter forever. The total lack of connection with their customers over the last 6 months has been ridiculous. I’ve had my fill, this SMS withdrawal issue was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, in my case.


    Btw, can anyone supply me with about 10 Jaiku invites for my friends? :)

  • Gary

    Well as the saying goes all goods things in life are free but they sometimes comes with a price or is it that twitter think its time twitters be twitted well for europe or is it that they are bowing to pressure for the mobile services

  • ArticleAlley

    Don’t you just love the names in this industry Twitter! – Tweet SMS! Where else would you see this stuff ! LOL!

blog comments powered by Disqus