Twitter, the micro-blogging phenomenon, has resurrected plans to allow UK users to send and receive notifications via SMS. The firm has signed an initial deal with Vodafone UK and is expected to make arrangements with other operators soon. Once activated, the Vodafone service allows incoming Twitter messages – known as ‘Tweets’ – to be received free of charge, while sending a message will form part of the subscriber’s existing text messaging bundle and will incur no extra cost. Twitter already offers such a service in the USA, Canada (via an agreement with Bell Mobility) and India.
Twitter shut down its original SMS notification service in the UK last August after claiming that the rising popularity of the service had made it prohibitively expensive. At the time, the firm said that – even with a limit of 250 messages received per week – the SMS service was costing about US$1,000 per user, per year to send SMS outside of Canada, India, or the US. “It makes more sense for us to establish fair billing arrangements with mobile operators than it does to pass these high fees on to our users,” Twitter noted in a blog post last August.