Orange touts free tweets
UK operator Orange has signed a deal to push out tweets for free, though sending them will cost as usual.
The deal means that Twitter users can receive alerts from their followed-themes by SMS message, and even upload pictures to their own feed via MMS (at 30p a pop) which Orange will host, automatically sending out a link to followers.
The arrangement harks back to Twitter's original architecture, with tweets being bounced out to followers as text messages, but in Europe Twitter had to foot the bill for sending out the alerts and thus had to pull the service. Even the money-pit that is Twitter couldn't shoulder that cost for long.
Now Orange customers can get back to Twitter's roots and interact via SMS, though submitting updates will be charged for at the normal SMS rate (or, more likely, deducted from the bundle), that update can be bounced out to millions at no additional cost.
Many Twitter fans will already have moved onto on-device clients, but for those who use a basic handset and can't live without the latest updates on what Stephen Fry is having for lunch then the service is ideal.
For Orange this is all about identity aggregation. Orange wants its customers to aggregate their online identities through the Social Life section of Orange World, making it much harder for them to switch networks: an ambition well worth taking a hit on a few text messages to achieve. ®
Examples of charges to 07624
Just to follow up on the point that all 07 numbers are charged equally (particularly 07624, as that's the one Twitter uses if you can't use short codes), well, they're not;
Vodafone has 07624 on their premium list of numbers;
Their explanation goes as follows - "Not all numbers beginning 07 are standard mobile phone numbers – for example, international calling cards start with 07. Calls to these numbers are charged at higher rates than calls to standard mobile phone numbers. When dialling, please be aware of the charges associated with the following prefixes."
There will be equivalent tables for the other mobile providers, but you can find them yourselves if you care enough.
Guys, please check you know what you're talking about beforehaving a pop. I was the original AC at 14:01
07624 is not included in bundles, i've been charged for it. I have bills which show this.
Yes, 01624 is the Isle of Man. 07624 is Manx Telecom (hmm, i wonder where they're based, and why i'm charged for texts to that number and not to other 07 numbers .... let me see ...No, i give up, not even Google could help me with that ....)
Yes, you can use short codes for Twitter, but from the docco on the Twitter support pages see the following - "We currently support 2-way (sending and receiving) Twitter SMS via short codes and 1-way (sending only) via long codes ... In the UK, use 86444 (we currently only support Vodafone and Orange)"
Then, read on and see the following - "Long codes for 1-way Twitter SMS: +44 7624 801423" followed by "Charges for using our short codes are the same as standard text messaging rates to full-length phone numbers"
The above is all available here - http://help.twitter.com/forums/59008/entries/14014
So thanks guys, neither me or my bank manager have imagined these charges, or the number I've used (I'm not on Orange or Vodafone). If the short code isn't billed at the same price as the "ordinary" SMS number I'll be surprised, but i guess you'll let me know.
More like it...
"@Anonymous Coward #
By Tom Chiverton 1 Posted Tuesday 17th November 2009 15:32 GMT
"twitter number you text begins 07624"
No it doesn't, it's a 5 digit short code... dunno who you've been texting !"
Now that makes more sense, since most (all?) mobile networks charge for texts to short codes.