Amazon is the latest company to jump on the micro-blogging bandwagon and start pushing its products on Twitter. The online retailer is putting its latest special offers on its Twitter page so you can easily keep up to date with the current bargain of the day.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this approach is that it provides, essentially, a free SMS service for the consumer without Amazon having to layout a single penny other than a little bit of coding time initially.
In this way, Twitter is more of a platform, than an application in its own right and it’s one that other companies can use to easily implement new features without a huge cost.
But it does seem that in these days of 3G, GPRS and push email, text messages are a bit dated. They served a purpose when mobile were largely voice based and data was only available via dialup, but now that most phones can access email and many can run Java apps or the like the humble text message is not only basic, it’s fairly expensive for the site operator to implement.
Obviously that’s not a problem for Twitter at the moment, but as it gains users, the costs are going to rise dramatically. Maybe it’ll implement some sort of premium features further down the line – for the likes of Amazon or other commercial partners that want to use the platform to promote their products.
Nothing beats free on the web, and most users expect to pay nothing for a service. No one’s quite worked out how to make these things pay just yet, but if the folks at Twitter can figure it out then it’ll benefit both consumers and commercial users alike.