Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Twitter Gateway

As far as I remembered, when twitter first came to the scene, one of the main attraction to this micro-blogging or the one-liner blogging site, was the ability to blog (or tweet) from your mobile phone via SMS.  It was initially envisaged as an SMS based social networking tool.


Picture taken from wikipedia.org.

These days, most people use either the web based interface or some other tools that integrate with twitter via the twitter API.  SMSing to twitter is costly and hence there are less people using it.  However, it is also because the lack of gateways that are available.  From personal premium SMS experience, it is possible to provide such a service and potentially profit from it.

In Malaysia/Singapore, you will need to work with the Telco companies to get a short-code for the premium SMS.  You probably need to negotiate hard to get it at the right price as in this region, the Telcos take a large percentage unlike in Korea and other regions.  All you need then is simple web services programming that can accept web services calls from the Telco’s SMS gateway and then you need to be able to integrate to the user’s twitter.  Of course, for easy registration and usage, you can provide a sleek webpage for the users.

Why it may work?  If the charges are low enough, a few tweets a day would only cost the user maybe SGD1 or RM1 per day.  That isn’t really much compared to the total phone bills.  It provides the users with a simple way to tweet.

The main drawback is receiving tweets, you probably need to provide filters for the users at the webpage to filter their followers’ tweets.  They may only be interested in actively following a few or none at all.  All SMS’ to the users can also be charged, possibly less than for them to tweet.


Over to you to explore … but meanwhile, I find this page quite funny.