Twitter priced out of UK mobile market

James Middleton

August 14, 2008

1 Min Read
Twitter priced out of UK mobile market

Microblogging and social networking tool Twitter has pulled the plug on part of its UK mobile service, citing the high prices charges by UK operators.

As of Thursday, Twitter is no longer delivering outbound text messages via its dedicated UK number.

The feature was available to users who wanted to receive update straight to their mobile devices, but it looks like Twitter’s UK number was servicing all of Europe, leaving the firm with a hefty bill.

“When you send one message to Twitter and we send it to ten followers, you aren’t charged ten times-that’s because we’ve been footing the bill. When we launched our free SMS service to the world, we set the clock ticking. As the service grew in popularity, so too would the price,” the startup firm said.

Twitter had hoped to establish relationships with mobile operators in the UK and elsewhere around the world and set in place agreements that would allow the SMS service to become sustainable from a cost perspective.

The company achieved this goal in Canada, India, and the United States. By its own reckoning, based on a limit of 250 messages received per week, it could cost Twitter about $1,000 per user per year to send SMS updates outside of Canada, India and the US.

As an interim measure, Twitter said it will be introducing several local numbers to do a similar job but on a smaller scale in countries throughout Europe, however it looks like this might make the mobile service a lot less international.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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