What features do you expect to launch with?
We’re looking at launching a service initially to deliver direct messages and @replies, though depending on sign-up volumes we may then extend that to cover user-selected friend and follower updates. We’ll charge customers to receive messages but we’re aiming to keep costs down as low as possible for them.
How are you different from the other Twitter SMS startups?
We already have a mobile group communications service in the market: Zygohubs launched to consumers in March this year. The service is aimed at groups of people who have a need to do things together in the real world (friends going on trips together, to festivals, sports teams and clubs who play regular fixtures and so on). It gives each group its own mobile number, which then becomes the identity of the group: once everyone has saved that number in their phone address book they can simply text that number and the message gets relayed out to the rest of the group, from that number. There’s no syntax to remember, and it just works – on any handset and on any network. We’ve built a very robust messaging and billing platform for Zygohubs, and have connections into about eight UK aggregators for SMS delivery so we felt we were well placed to bridge the gap for Twitter. Most of these aggregators deliver SMS worldwide so coverage shouldn’t be an issue.
What’s your background?
The management team has a background predominantly in mobile: we all spent time at Orange, myself in new product development, Jeremy our CEO in business development, and Ben our CTO on the technical side. Ben built the world’s first web to SMS application for Orange back in the days when hardly anybody was using SMS. More info: http://www.zygocommunications.com/who/
How do you plan to develop the service?
If Twitter develop their own paid-for service I guess we’ll look first at what our customers do then make a decision about whether to continue offering the ZygoTweet service. As I said before, our main focus is on our patented service Zygohubs, so we’re looking at this as an opportunity to help a few people out while Twitter works out what, if anything, to do.