Twitter & SMS: interview #4: Andy Jagoe of 3jam

Image representing 3Jam as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase, source unknown

In the fourth of my interviews with the services to spring up since Twitter pulled its SMS service, I speak to Andy Jagoe of 3jam.

What features can users expect?

Our current service is available to all users in all countries. The features we have launched for Twitter users, thus far, are:

  • Twitter direct messages by SMS: a service that delivers Twitter direct messages via SMS at the user-specified interval
  • Local tweet numbers in Australia, UK, Germany and Sweden that allows users in these countries to post normal Twitter status updates and direct messages from SMS. This means user can avoid paying international rates to send to the Twitter UK number.

How are you different from the other SMS startups and what will you do if Twitter launches something?

3jam has been in the SMS business since 2005 and operates a global person-to-person SMS service that supports 3,000,000 users across 180+ countries. We have learned that providing a reliable, global SMS service requires stitching together multiple SMS delivery partners. We operate a least cost routing system across some of the largest companies, including Ericsson, Mblox, Sybase365 and others. We have also learned that a SMS service that uses the easy-to-develop-for HTTP/XML connections from the SMS delivery partner break down at scale, so we support SMPP, a telco grade connection, for our SMS delivery.

Developing and operating a global direct-to-consumer billing system is not a simple task. We noticed that Twitter users needed help and that we had assets that took years to develop that we could easily re-purpose to help them. We have offered to work together with Twitter on a joint solution to provide a deeper integration and better user experience for Twitter users.

What’s your background?

3jam has 21 full-time employees with significant experience in the messaging space. Most of our staff is focused on engineering and product development. The list of companies we draw from includes Palm, Yahoo, AOL, Telstra, OpenWave, Cisco, Good Technology and Facebook.

Our most recent product, 3jam SuperText, is an SMS/IM hybrid that allows you to send and receive SMS on the Web. It has some cool features that aren’t available on most mobile phones, like the ability to start group reply-all SMS chats, send attachments via SMS, and a presence feature which senses when you’re online and delivers your incoming SMS to either your phone or the website accordingly. Plus all your SMS messages are archived online so you can refer to them later without having to worry about storage space on your phone.

Does the service differ by operator or country?

There are approximately 800 mobile operators worldwide. By having multiple delivery partners integrated into a best-of-breed network, we provide service to more than 700 of them. We have local numbers in Australia, UK, Germany and Sweden and will add additional local numbers based on user demand.

How do you plan to develop the service?

Where we go from here will totally depend on user reaction to the service. We have lots of great ideas, including allowing you to receive @reply messages and friend’s status updates, reinstating the old track functionality, and providing more local Twitter numbers in more countries. Our roadmap will depend on the response to the service and what our customers are requesting.

Also interviewed previously on OJB: ZygoTweet, twitMobile and TweetSMS.

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2 thoughts on “Twitter & SMS: interview #4: Andy Jagoe of 3jam

  1. Pingback: Twitter & SMS interview #5: Stuart Herbert of Twittex | Online Journalism Blog

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