Thursday, February 26, 2009

15 Cent Bell Twitter Cost

So months ago Twitter cut off it's text message updates within Canada citing the rising and erratic SMS costs here. This met with some harsh criticism, mostly not at Twitter, but at the various Canadian carriers.

Well, a week ago Twitter announced that they would be resuming two-way updates for Bell Mobility customers, today however the other shoe dropped with Bell saying that Twitter updates will cost 15 cents a message, even for those with an unlimited SMS plan!

"Because Twitter is a third-party service, the messages are considered premium and not covered by our plans" - Bell spokesperson
Now, I'm not going to comment on the merits of Twitter. I know many feel the site incredibly inane and useless. I know others love it and just find fun and useful.

I'm also not directly affected by this message cost as I don't own a cell phone and would never think of routing Twitter messages to my work-provided and paid for phone.

I do imagine however, that this will spin up another little internet storm and continue the debates from the last few months over the costs of text messages. Considering the debates in January over whether SMS use causes any network load at all as they are embedded in control messages that are sent anyway, this latest news is bound to ruffle a few more feathers.

UPDATE: Twitter posted a tweet on their feed last night:
There's some confusion about Bell Mobility pricing of Twitter SMS. We've been investigating this and will clear it up to tomorrow. Thx!
ANOTHER UPDATE: Twitter has added a new blog post just a little bit ago:
Twitter and Bell have agreed that Bell customers on the company's text messaging bundles will be able to receive unlimited incoming Twitter SMS messages at no extra charge.
So it looks like Twitter users will be happy enough and there is no longer really any point behind my own blog post on this.

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