By August 29, 2008

Twitter SMS alternatives

image If your a Twitter user and outside of the USA, Canada or India you will have noticed that SMS updates are no longer being delivered to your phone. We reported this a few weeks back and because of this Twitter has lost a lot of it’s sparkle. For me the beauty of Twitter was its social networking ability without having to do anything other than read a simple text message. When one of your friends has something to say you get it with the minimum of fuss. This was Twitter’s killer addictive quality and now it has been taken away from us. A couple of companies have spotted this gap and are currently offering their own services, they are tweetSMS and twitMobile.

I haven’t tried tweetSMS as of yet but I am currently testing out twitMobile. It is very simple to set up, you do not need to register on the site, you just use your twitter user name and password, they then get your details from twitter and display a few options for you to select.

Twitsms 2

You specify your mobile number and which type of tweets you would like delivered by SMS, friends tweets, replies, direct messages or all three, on top of that you can limit the times you receive the SMS messages and also put a maximum limit on the number you can receive in an hour, just incase some of your contacts get involved in a tweeted debate.


After that the next step would be to buy credit, this is based on one credit for one English Penny and you have to have a PayPal account to buy it, pretty limiting but I am sure that this will improve soon with more options.


Next up you have a list of your contacts and a tick box next to each, this is where you select which contacts you want to receive SMS updates from, my list seems to have duplicated itself a few times here but I only have to tick each contact once to get things going.

After the initial sign up where I had many problems getting things set up and working the service has provided me with my SMS tweets and it is good to have them back. A couple of problems, the SMS updates seem to be slightly erratic, I.E. no SMS updates for a while then about 8-10 come in all at once. When you check Twitter online the tweets were over a 30 minute period so that is a strange one and maybe down to the way the tweets are gathered and sent out on a some sort of time delay.

The worst problem for me is cost. Depending on which country you are in, the costs differ. In the UK you are looking at 5p per message or £0.05. Now based on the original allowance of 250 texts per week from Twitter that would equate to  £1.78 per day or £12.50 per week or a staggering £53.40 per average month ouch!!!!!

This figure is way too high and what you end up doing is switching updates off for people who tweet a lot or are not that important to you, this somewhat defeats the purpose and renders Twitter back to it’s benign state.

Now at least it is good to have the choice of getting your SMS back but at these costs it is not really a great option, hopefully if this service catches on and they buy more in bulk from the providers the prices may come down but until then it is not a viable option for me although it does work well.

Example of costs for different countries based on 1 credit = 1p (£0.01) across the two services


So depending on which country your in it is worth comparing the two services before signing up for the best deal as there are differences between the pricing structures

You can visit the two sites with the links below:-




Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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