Yeah you know I have ranted about Twitter and it’s messaging service for a while now. Well Twitter has had a few issues scaling and the like. Remember it’s not your standard web application, it’s a many to many messaging service.
Anyway besides the ongoing Fail Whale saga, this morning via an email the Twitter team announce that they are turning off the SMS side of the service, except in certain countries. And yes you guessed it Australia is one of those to get it in the neck.
But to add insult in injury the email doesn’t even bother to even mention Australia or New Zealand. Maybe it seems the Biz Stone and the folks at Twitter don’t think we are that important here on the ends of the earth. Oh that’s right how stupid of me we are not in the US of A, so we don’t count. It was nice to see at least the Twitter blog remembered that we exist. Still I’m not impressed!
I can understand why they are doing this as the SMS costs that they are bearing would relatively high, however what is wrong with talking with Telstra (like there is anyone else) and brokering a deal before you cut the service. They seem to have done this in Canada, which has telco issues as bad as ours (so I’m told).
There is a distinct lack of understanding of the use of Twitter in Australia it seems. Many people use Twitter as an informal social SMS network. Allowing friends to contact them via Direct Messaging sent via an SMS without the friends/contacts having to have their Mobile number, whether this be on a local or international level with the twitter service as it was, it didn’t matter.
All the alternatives suggested require web access. Again it’s assumed we all have the web all the time every where. Sorry Biz, massive fail – wrong! Especially in Australia where the 3G coverage is limited to the capital cities at best.
So what can we do. Well we can bitch and blog about it, have your say on Get Satisfaction, and generally make noise.