OPINION: Why I'm not going back to using Twitter with SMS

Twitter, Web 2.0

twitter-bird.jpgI’m quite proud to say that I’m old-skool when it comes to Twitter – I’ve been signed up since April 2007. My first tweet? “Watching TV, waiting for my roommate to finish dinner, and then going out drinking.”

Back then I used the SMS system with Twitter. I’d SMS my updates to a central number, and the service would send them back to me by text. When you’re only following a few people, that’s fine. You don’t end up abusing your free text allowance.

But then Twitter, citing financial reasons, withdrew the SMS service in August 2008. Overnight, the gentle buzz from my phone getting Tweets two or three times a day just stopped. I stopped having a reminder to Tweet. As a result, I got a bit lazy and there’d be weeks between my Tweets.

But then something changed. I managed to slip over the tipping point of following enough people saying enough things that it was worth checking it daily, so it found its way onto my bookmarks bar of my browser and that got me back off the edge and tweeting again.

Nowadays I’m following 350-odd people, and I get about three or four updates a minute. That’s fine at my PC – running Twhirl means I can just let those conversations quietly purr away in the background. I’ve also got a client for my S60 phone – Twibble – which sorts me out on the go.

A company called Twe2 launched this week that lets European users get alerts on their phone, in exchange for an ad at the end of the Tweet. Yay! I can get my SMS Tweets back! But I don’t want it.

The idea of having three to four texts coming in to my phone every minute seems ludicrous. The way I use Twitter now – it’s there when I need it, and I can ignore it when I want – is perfect. I get any @replies and DMs emailed to me, and I check my email a billion times a day so I don’t miss them. I just don’t need SMS.

Do you agree? Or are you gagging to get SMS tweets back? Share your opinion in the comments.

Duncan Geere
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One thought on “OPINION: Why I'm not going back to using Twitter with SMS

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