Oct 15, 2009

Watch out Bharti Airtel, Here comes SmsTweets

Mobile Phones in India
Today morning I woke up to this wonderful news at twitter's blog - Hello Bharti Airtel. I was quite excited about it as we now have a (cheap) way of sending twitter messages using just a base mobile phone in India. But at the same time I was wondering what is so 'exclusive' about it. Twitter being open with it's api, it should have been trivial for anyone to create such a service.

I think the the problem is that in India any SMS to a short code is termed a 'Value Added Service' and gets charged Rs 3/-. Moreover it is not very easy to get such a short code to build your application easily. I think that creates a huge barrier for others and makes it easy for the carriers to announce such a service.

Incidentally I had been thinking about how to provide a similar feature in India and happened to stumble upon smsgupshup's platform. I got a demo account yesterday and today in couple of hours created this SMSTweet service which allows you to update your tweets over SMS.

How does it work? Well it's just a two step simple procedure.
  1. You send "tweet register " to 09220092200. If you have provided a correct username/password and the twitter servers are not too busy, you account will be registered with this service. Note that both username and password are case sensitive.
  2. Thereafter just send SMS "tweet " to 09220092200 and the message will be tweeted on your behalf.
As you can see that the SMS'es are being sent at a long mobile code, you will be charged your regular Re 1/- for the SMS'es.

A small note of disclaimer before you use this service. Please note that this service is just whipped up in an hour, so usability may be a little shaky. Also this service is just forwarding user messages and hence cannot be held responsible for the messages being sent.

(Picture credit : www.watblog.com)


Rupesh said...

hey Mayank,
I used the app and it works like charm. Would like to give some feedback about the same:-

1. when someone registers for the service, make sure by default a tweet is updated by the user saying "now i can sms to tweet using sms tweet http://smstweet.appspot.com"
This will help in spreading the words. Do the same with online registration too.

2. when you tweet via sms the tweet says by API. Make the necessary changes to say it smstweet.

3. Also for receiving sms as notification when someone sends you a tweet, google sms channel could be used.
Is there any way to integrate the same in your app.


Rupesh (@fundubytes)

Mayank Sharma said...

Thank you Rupesh.
funny that you mention those suggestion even as I was busy implementing some of them. The API that you see in a tweet can be changed once my oauth is ready and people register through website and not through their mobile phone.

receiving notification through google sms channel is a nice and clever hack. I'll mention it on the smstweet website.

Thank you for testing out the service as well.

I'm said...

Great thing, Mayank!
Thanks a ton, for making my life better. :)

Rupesh said...

Hi Mayank,

Would like to discuss with you a twitter based project.
Can you please send me an email at rupeshmandal@gmail.com?


Bipin Preet Singh said...

Hi Mayank, good stuff! We at http://www.mobikwik.com would like to get in touch with you at bipinATmobikwik.com. Cheers!

CSP said...

Thanks a lot for this wonderful service man! I love you :)

sandeephegde said...

Good work. I love the service !

Vivek R.P said...

Wow! Very Good Thing... Thanks @Manyank.
We Are Developing A App like Twitter. wanted to do the same thing in tht. want ur help. mail me on vivek@oxitech.net or call me.
for more : http://oxitech.net/vivekrp

Anonymous said...

Here is a post describing & promoting SMSTWEET.IN


Mayank Sharma said...

Thank you golchha for your generous post and promoting smstweet.