O2 Joins Forces With Twitter To Offer Free SMS Updates

Telefonica owned O2 will allow customers who use popular microblogging website Twitter to post messages to and receive updates from the online service, all for zilch if they are on a monthly contract.

From the 1st of August, the 20 million or so customers of UK's largest mobile phone network will be able to do so. Until now, only those using the iPhone or any other contract with a data bolt-on could have updated their Twitter accounts.

However, O2 has placed a rather strict limit of 600 text updates per month - a mere 20 updates per day - under its fair usage policy. Pay as you go users will have to pay for their Twitter updates which will cost the same as a SMS while Twitter updates from O2 will be deducted from the customers' text bundle.

Speaking to the Guardian, Antony Douglas, O2's head of content said that the company "believes that mobile will soon become the most popular way of accessing social networking sites, giving real-time access to tweets and status updates wherever you are".

Twitter stopped free SMS support back in August 2008 citing the prohibitive cost of the free service which Biz Stone, at that time, put at around $80 per user per month.

and join nearly 1700 other followers.

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Vodafone has also opened its network to Twitter and can also receive free updates from people they follow, something that O2 is not offering. Orange and T-mobile are also expected to offer their own Twitter package later this year while Three is expected to release a Twitter smartphone soon.

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