25 Aug
2009

Tweeting with sms

Category:Howto's

So yeah. Activated my phone on twitter, so i can send SMS messages to update my status.

Why, you may ask, would one want to use something as rudimentary as a text message to update your twitter status? Well, one of the reasons is: Data is expensive if you are roaming, or if you don’t have a plan.

Plans are pretty cheap here nowadays. You can get unlimited maximum speed 3G for 12,90 a month, as long as you submit yourself to be a whore of that company for two years. I know it’s very common to be tied to a mobile service provider abroad, but we’re kind of used to not being locked in.

Sure, we have subsidized phone plans as well, that require a 1 or 2 year contract, but most phones i’d wager are still the unlocked kind, with some kind of pay as you go plan, or a plan without a long contract.

But if you’re outside a plan, or abroad, data costs you an arm and a leg. Why? I’m not really sure. I’m not really sure how moving one megabyte of data through the network can cost 1.5 euros (which is the standard going rate for un-planned data!). That’s over two dollars a megabyte! Abroad it can be even more insane, where billing can be by the kilobyte. I heard in Turkey, certain roaming data costs like a euro per 50 kB.. insane.

So in these cases SMS might be a good choice. SMS will cost you the standard rate, which might also be a bit high abroad, but still not as high as data, probably. 140 characters isn’t a lot, and loading the m.twitter.com page (or any other mobile page for that matter), won’t cost you too much, but multiple updates will.

An SMS usually costs you less than ten cents, and even while roaming it’s hardly ever over 30 cents. So if you just want to do a quick update, it might be a better choice than data.

Activation was pretty easy, you just slide in your number, then sms the twitter number with an activation code and you’re done. After that you can just sms that same number and it’ll tweet it. 140 chars though, so not even a full standard 160 char SMS.

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