Monday, September 01, 2008

The Death of Twitter in Africa

In July, I blogged about starting to use Twitter and not really seeing the point in it. I expressed some hope that once I started twittering from my mobile phone, then the opportunities and ease for sharing and receiving updates or 'tweets' would become more obvious.

Alas, I never got around to doing that and then I just read on White African's blog (yes, the 2nd link to his blog in as many days) that Twitter has cancelled its SMS service in Africa. My first thought was that "Well, it was just another tool for me to keep on top of anyway, so no big loss there."

White African shares some of the benefits of having a "one-to-many" messaging service and links to Soyapi Mumba's blog where he shares some of the benefits to Africa. These are some good points he raises in, especially for a continent where mobile phone use is far more prevalent than internet use.

One thing I always wondered about was the cost. Was it free to tweet from your mobile phone or does the user have to pay the cost of the SMS? I am guessing that they did, in which case it would have been a deterrent for many people.


Jon Gosier said...

Only the ability to receive Tweets on your cellphone is dead. You can still tweet from your mobile to number in the UK. In fact, I used my mobile in Uganda to liveblog Camapla2008, in Kampala this week. (

So as a way to send messages to many people around the world at once is gone but the ability to mail out works fine. Also, losing the local number makes it more expensive but it's not 'dead', just far less useful.

You do still have to pay the SMS fee but you'd have to do that if you sent an SMS anyways.

disgodkidd said...

hi ore, how are you doing? my sms didnt get to you so i figure you are on another trip?

how can i get my blog comments to work like yours? where they display on the same page?

looking forward to us getting together again.

Ore said...

Jon, thanks for the clarification. My headline, it now appears, was a tad dramatic.

Ayo, no, I didn't get your SMS. Also looking forward to hanging out again. Here are instructions for the peek-a-boo comments: