Oct 15, 2009

Airtel Launches Twitter by SMS

Twitter has tied up with India's largest mobile services provider, Bharti Airtel, to allow its subscribers to send and receive Twitter messages using SMS, the micro-blogging service said Wednesday on its blog.

Bharti Airtel said on its Web site that the tie-up with Twitter would be exclusive for only four weeks, suggesting that after that period, the service may also be offered by other service providers in India.

SMS access to Twitter is likely to be more popular in India than mobile services that require Internet access, because a very small percentage of mobile phones in India are Internet enabled. Twitter launched a service in India last year that allowed subscribers to use the service without paying international SMS charges, but it discontinued the offering, citing costs, according to some reports.
There are over one billion people with Internet access on the planet but there are more than four billion people with mobile phones, and Twitter can work on all of them because even the simplest of these devices feature SMS, Twitter said.
India has a number of high-profile Twitter users, including the Minister of State for External Affairs, Shashi Tharoor, film stars Priyanka Chopra @priyankachopra Gul Panag @gulpanag, and Mallika Sherawat @mallikala, director Karan Johar @kjohar25, Minister of State Shashi Tharoor @shashitharoor, upper house member Pritish Nandy @pritishnandy, news anchors Barkha Dutt @bdutt and Vir Sanghvi @virsanghvi, plus media outlets MTV India @MTVindia and NDTV @ndtv just to name a few.

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