Last Friday, a friendly PR dropped me an email to inform me that Wadja.com, the mobile web, media and messaging service, will power Twe2 free Twitter SMS alerts, allowing users to receive @replies and DMs to Twitter users both in the UK and worldwide.
Last year free text message updates from Twitter were stopped in the UK, causing outrage amongst Twitter users. As a result, UK Twitterers increasingly started using applications such as Twitterrific, Tweetie, ShoZu, or even mobile services such as m.slander.net or m.twitter.com to tweet on the go.
Incidentally, I also recently spotted an interesting report published by HubSpot on Twitter-user behaviour.
The report highlights that 48.1% of Twitter users use the the web to tweet whilst 17.9% use their mobiles to tweet on the go.
4.6% of Twitter users use text messaging to tweet, pretty much on a par with Twitterrific, Tween, TwitterBerry or TwitterFon, and it looks like text messaging is still doing reasonably well (although I’d love to have more info on whether it’s just sending tweets vs. sending and receiving tweets)
I also had the opportunity to have a 15-minute telephone interview Wadja MD, Alex Christoforou.
I told Alex that UK Twitter users were now increasingly using apps on their mobiles instead of texting and I felt that this new service was coming in a little too late. I told Alex that I probably wouldn’t want to receive a text message every single time my followers send a tweet, but I would be interested in receiving a text each time I receive a DM for instance.
Now put yourself in the shoes of an average UK Internet user. You’ve heard about Twitter, and want to check the service out. Twitter in its current format doesn’t make much sense – “why would I want to tweet when I can update my Facebook status?”
Now think of Twitter as a service where you can get news alerts (BBC, ITV etc), Tube alerts as well as follow a handful of friends by text. The text messaging feature then becomes invaluable.
I am actually feeling quite excited about the return of Twitter SMS alerts, and I am planning on checking out the Twe2 service within the next couple of weeks… stay tuned!