Twitter cancels UK SMS – the Facebook campaign to sort it out

UPDATE 10: Current startups include TweetSMS, Zygotweet, Twitmobile, Twittex, HootSMS, 3jam, Tweeteroo and TwitSMS.

UPDATE 9: Two workarounds suggested

UPDATE 8: Avatar campaign now under way. Now available for  the following mobile operators: 3 (; O2:; Orange:; T-Mobile:; Virgin Mobile (; and Vodafone: Generic image also created by dear2world

UPDATE 7: Nathan Monk is suggesting a campaign of sending ‘boo’ tweets to Twitter founder Biz Stone

UPDATE 6: reports on the impact on many newspapers’ plans

UPDATE 5: Interview about TweetSMS at ArabCrunch.

UPDATE 4: Also filling that gap are – also recommended is Jaiku.

UPDATE 3: Also from the Facebook group wall: Some are calling for a ‘Twitter strike’ on August 18

UPDATE 2: That gap in the market has already been spotted: (also on Twitter) offers to deliver text messages “for a low price”. On the Facebook group Wall (also on Twitter) notes of Twitter’s official statement: “the prices they are getting charged are way over the odds: on the volume they are hitting it could be as low as 0.3 – 0.5p a text.”

UPDATE: Nicolas Gosset has set up a group to campaign in France

So Twitter has cancelled SMS updates for users outside of the US, Canada and India, apparently because it has been unable to arrange decent billing deals with mobile operators outside of those countries.

So I’ve set up a Facebook group in the UK to put some pressure on mobile operators to cut a deal, fast. It’s in their interests, after all – how many of us started to use text messaging more often because of Twitter? And how many of us are now going to stop?

Hope you can join and add to the numbers (even if you’re not in the UK). Also, if you’re not in the UK, please set up a group for your own country, let me know about it, and we can build a network of these.

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20 thoughts on “Twitter cancels UK SMS – the Facebook campaign to sort it out

  1. Matt @ PRBristol

    This is madness for Twitter in the short term. But I have to say that soon most people will not be using SMS updates and be using the internet on their e.g iPhones.

    Still I will join to group because it is not on 😦

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  4. Craig McGill

    As I said over at my blog, this is a fantastic opportunity for a telco with a good 3G data tariff to become the Twitterphone. In fact, a quick thinking company should have already struck by now to capitalise on the media attention.

    Having said that, let’s be realistic here. It was costing the company money, so of course they are going to cut back. What would Twits prefer – company stays operating or cuts back on a service?

    There’s a definite whiff of double standards when people are moaning about the company cutting back on a service for cost reasons when they won’t go and fork out themselves for a dataplan to stay in touch with Wire watchers and coffee drinkers.

    (and before anyone gives me grief, I tweet a lot and have blogged about it plenty.)

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  6. Ana B

    I’m really affected by the lack of free SMS from Twitter, as I use it in art projects (eg. – it was very useful to provide live updates about what other participants are doing. Projects like this are a great way of publicising Twitter as something more interesting than how it is often portrayed (friends saying what they’re having for lunch etc). We’re bringing new users to Twitter, but if it became something you had to pay to receive texts from, as well as send texts to, people would not want to join in.

    It might seem like wanting something for nothing, but as a heavy user of Twitter I text to it a lot as well, so the phone companies are getting money from me there. If I know people aren’t able to get my updates by SMS I won’t bother sending texts either, so Virgin Mobile loses their main source of income from me (I’m on Pay-As-You go and I don’t use my phone for actual phonecalls much)

  7. paulbradshaw

    Thanks Ana – I was planning something similar for incoming students which would have improved the feeling of community and probably generated a lot of text revenue for operators. Not now.

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