Orange has announced a partnership with Twitter, which will enable customers to send and receive Twitter updates directly from their mobile phones using text messaging. It also sees Orange become the first mobile phone operator to enable customers to upload and share photos on Twitter via MMS.
The partnership has been designed to give Orange customers fast and simple access to Twitter without the need to download special software or pay extra for services. Customers will be able to update their own ’tweets’, send direct messages to other Twitter users and receive alerts on Twitter activity all through text messaging. Twitter alerts will be available free, with upload text messages either included in customers’ bundles or charged at the usual rate.
Orange customers will have full control over Twitter alerts sent to their mobile phones with customers able to choose to receive text message updates on ‘tweets’ from all people they follow, individual users or direct messages. They’ll also be able to set times for receiving ‘tweets’.
Orange has also become the first mobile phone operator to enable customers to upload and share photos on Twitter via MMS. The Orange service enables customers to post their photos on ‘Snapshot’, a site developed by Orange UK, which automatically posts the link directly to Twitter in a ‘tweet’ and allow followers to add comments.
Finally, Twitter will also join Facebook, MySpace and Bebo on Social Life, a mobile social networking aggregator created by Orange which brings together social networking activity in one central place. Accessible from Orange World, Orange’s mobile internet portal, Social Life allows customers to view and post updates and get in touch with friends and family across all four social networks at the same time through a single log-in.
The first operator to provide free access for pay as you go customers to MySpace, Facebook and Bebo, Orange UK has been at the forefront in bringing mobile social networking to a mainstream audience. The success of such initiatives has been demonstrated through a surge in adoption of mobile social networking services – with social networking usage doubling in the period from January – August 2009 alone.
Mark Watts Jones, head of product management for Orange UK, said: “We’ve seen over the last year how Twitter is transforming the dynamics of real-time search and breaking news. So we’re delighted to extend the value of the service by bringing it to mobile, enabling our customers to view and update their Twitter streams and giving them the unique ability to upload photos directly via MMS.”