Twitter just yesterday launched another interesting development ... the ability to get real-time SMS messages to your cell phone of tweets from specific individuals. Its an interesting development, that certainly plays well with Twitters role as a real-time tool. Unfortunately Canada, its only available in the U.S. at the moment, but they do mention that they are currently working with carriers in other countries.
What's really interesting as well, is that you DO NOT have to have a Twitter profile already.
How does it work?
As Twitter explains it:
From Your Cell Phone:
Fast Follow. Anyone in the US can receive Tweets on their phone even if they havent signed up for Twitter. This is a simple way for people to get information they care about in real-time. For example, lets say you want to get Tweets from New York Citys office of emergency management (@NotifyNYC). Just text follow NotifyNYC to 40404 in the US.
From Your Computer:
Set SMS alerts: From your computer, wherever you see a user on Twitter.com, you can hover over their name or avatar, and click on the phone icon that appears in the hovercard. Whenever they tweet, you'll get it as an SMS message on your phone.
a. you can turn SMS messages of tweets from specific individuals on of off with a simple command - send on [username] or off [username] to 40404 in the US.
b. you can turn the entire Twitter text messaging functionality on or off - send on or off to 40404 in the US.
c. you can get just the latest tweet from any individual ... friend or not (assumng their updates aren't protected) - If you text 'Get [username], that users most recent Tweet will be sent to your phone, even if you dont follow them.
d. there are alot of other commands also
What does this mean to you ... our SEP readers:
1. Twitter is making its service more ubiqutous, meaning more people will use it, and it will hold more value as a communication tool
2. the younger millennial generation, the group more likely to use texting than Twitter, now have more more reason to use Twitter, and see it as a valuable and useful tool.
3. it will make Twitter an even more valuable tool for getting real-time breaking news stories for all eg. earthquakes, traffic, etc.
4. with a little more development, this development combined with geo-location tools, will provide tremendous potential for advertisers. Imagine; every time I'm near one of my favourite stores (Canadian tire), and if I've opted in to follow its tweets via cell phone, they can tweet/text me coupons or specials.
Great move Twitter ... can't wait to see what you've got up your sleeve next!