Twitter Stops Sending SMS in Europe [en]

[fr] Twitter n'envoie dès à présent plus de SMS aux utilisateurs basés hors des Etats-Unis, du Canada, et de l'Inde: trop cher. Oui, ça veut dire que même vos DM ne vous parviennent plus sur votre téléphone. Très déçue et embêtée par ce changement assez important dans l'intégration de mes communications online et offline.

This is a sad day. Twitter has just lost some of its value for me. One very precious feature of Twitter is direct messages. They allow a user to send a private message to another user.

I used to get these messages on my phone, directly by SMS. So, basically, this is giving the nearly 1’500 people following me the possibility to send me a text message without having to know my phone number of have it handy. All they need to know is my username, which is easy: stephtara.

Oh well, we had it coming. Sending out all these text messages was costing Twitter a lot of money, we know that. It couldn’t go on like that. They’ve just stopped sending out text messages from the UK number we non-US people use (via The Next Web blog). You can still send messages by SMS, though.

However, this means that as of today, DM is not an immediate and secure way to reach me anymore.

This is a big crack in my online/offline integration. Twitter allowed my online world to reel me back in or contact me if necessary by reaching me on my phone. This is pretty disruptive and saddening for me.

Twitter tell us they’ll be working on partnerships with phone companies in various countries. You bet Switzerland won’t be high on their list, given the small market here.

And using data? Well, for one, it isn’t “push”, and for two, it’s still mighty expensive here. We don’t all have the data penetration the US has.

Losing “track” was already sad for me, as it allowed me to receive my @replies on my phone, ensuring I didn’t miss any. Now I won’t even be getting my DMs anymore.

And Twitter didn’t even send me a text to let me know — I could be offline in the mountains waiting for a DM that’d never come.

There is a conversation over on Get Satisfaction if you want to join in.

This is the first time a Twitter problem could make me consider switching to another service. The SMS integration was a huge selling point.

Update: I’m not complaining about the fact we can’t get/send SMS for free anymore. I think we were lucky to get all we did, and for so long (I’m amazed this didn’t happen sooner). What I’m really unhappy about though is that this announcement comes without any alternative. I’d pay. See this blog post for an example I would go with. I’m not saying either that I’m going to switch to another service. But the thought crossed my mind, for the first time.

4 thoughts on “Twitter Stops Sending SMS in Europe [en]

  1. Well, I can see that Twitter must have been completely bleeding cash as usage mounted. One option is that they could introduce a fee-based service, of course. I'm not hugely upset by the loss of this service… although I used it initially, lately I've relied on DMs coming through email (which I accept are not going to be always accessible from the phone), and use a combination of Hahlo and Twinkle on the iPhone for posting or reviewing messages. But then, I made the choice of the iPhone explicitly knowing that it would enable me to be online in this manner, with an all-I-can-eat data subscription… and again I realise that isn't the case across Europe.

    I'm not sure this is enough to make me switch to another service, as the majority of my network is still on Twitter. It will be interesting to see what happens though, as you and a number of my other contacts are commenting that this is a major issue. Presumably other services that might offer SMS updates will also ultimately have to suck up this cost, or start charging us for it.

  2. Euh : DM ??? (mon ignorance… mais cette abréviation me dit rien … comme tellement de choses sont possible)

    Pour Twitter, j'avoue ne jamais avoir compris le modèle économique qui fonctionnait autour des sms. Soit ils avaient un excellent deal, soit cela leur tunait à fond. Bref, un opérateur se met quelques centimes dans la poche normalement à chaque sms envoyé… je ne suis même pas sûr que si on puisse payer que cela soit intéressant. Si tu as 1500 amis qui reçoivent tes sms, qui paient toi… et plus t'as d'amis twitter, plus tu payes… mais la logique voudrait alors que tu paies plutôt les messages reçus, mais là tu limites vite ton champ d'amis. Bref… va falloir trouver un autre moyen pour contourner les frais exhorbitants de nos opérateurs…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *