If the 3G war is partly fought over content, Vodafone just won a battle.
Currently, only Twitter users in North America get free tweets to their mobiles. That will soon change in New Zealand (and the UK), with Vodafone set to offer free tweets.
When Twitter launched, it offered free updates worldwide. But the cost proved ruiness for the revenue-less microblogging service, which has to pay for all the updates - or “tweets” via txt.
It quickly reduced its free tweets coverage to North America-only.
While international Twitter users can still get tweets sent directly to a mobile, it’s only on a user-pays model. International txt rates vary according to plan, but typically cost around 60 cents a message. That’s a lot to pay to learn that your friend is “thinking about coffee”.
Consequently, a majority of Kiwis access Twitter - a blogging service whose pleasingly streamline interface was designed for mobiles - via a PC, or stump up data charges to view the web version on their phone.
That could all be about to change.
Vodafone says it has tied up an exclusive deal with Twitter, under which NZ tweeters - provide they’re on Vodafone’s network, natchers - will receive updates free.
Twitter updates you send from your mobile will be charged at a standard txt rate (still much preferable to international rates) and involve txting a short code (TWTR/8987) for “tweets”, @replies, or to follow someone on the go.
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