How To Tweet Using SMS

Text Messaging on Twitter

You may not be aware of it, but Twitter offers a service that allows you post updates using good old SMS. Yes; you do not need an internet connection in order to tweet or receive notifications of your mentions.

Setting up your phone allows you to:

  • Send tweets with text messaging on your phone.
  • Receive texts for DMs and the tweets from users you want to be notified about.

Networks

Of the four GSM networks in Nigeria, three currently offer this access – MTN, Airtel, and Glo. Unfortunately, Etisalat is not in the picture yet.

You can setup text messaging for Twitter either on the Twitter website, or on your phone using SMS.

SetUp Online

Go to the Twitter website, login to your account, and go to your Settings menu. Select the “Mobile” tab. Complete the setup process.

You have options to select what sort of notifications you want to receive.

SetUp With Your Phone

In your phone SMS menu, send START or SIGNUP as an SMS to the relevant shorrtcode:

  • On MTN/Airtel, Send to 40404
  • On Glo, send to 20644

You will be required to complete a one-time login with your username (Twitter handle) and password.

Now You Can Tweet From Your Phone

To tweet, just compose your tweet using your phone’s SMS menu and send to the relevant shortcode for your network (40404 for MTN and Airtel; and 20644 for Glo).

Each tweet is billed your network’s standard SMS rate.

Note also that twitter’s limits is 140 characters. So, though SMS lets you type up to 160 characters, you must keep your tweets below 140.

Twitter commands

Here are a few useful commands for using SMS for Twitter! Send these commands to Twitter:

– FOLLOW username (to start following a user)
– UNFOLLOW username (to stop following a user)
– ON/OFF (to turn all Tweet notifications on or off)
– ON/OFF username (Set Tweet notifications for a user on or off; you’ll still be following them even if you set it to off)
– GET username (Shows you the latest tweet from any user)
– RETWEET username (Retweet a user’s latest tweet)
– FAVORITE username (Favorite a user’s latest tweet)
– DM username your-message (Send a direct message to a user)

Hope you find this useful during those periods that your network’s internet connection is acting up and you are having Twitter withdrawal symptoms 😉

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19 thoughts on “How To Tweet Using SMS”

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  2. With the rumor of BIS about to be shut down by the govt, this method of tweeting may become very popular.

    And in the extremely unlikely event that our govt does like Egypt and completely shut down internet services, SMS tweeting may be the only available method.

    I just wish the price of SMS tweeting was reduced to encourage more people to use it. Heavy tweeters wouldn’t wanna tweet at N15, or even at N5.

  3. this one service am sure I won’t be in a hurry to use. Just might activate it though for those moments u just have to Tweet even when the internet reception ain’t there

  4. @Eye.bee.kay

    I wonder if Bulk sms services would come in handy here?
    Most cost around N 2 /sms

    Funny little contradiction there. This is a service that is supposed to help out when internet connection is down and you are now suggesting the use of internet service to make use of the same service. Lol.

  5. @Eye.bee.kay

    Check the title of this post again.

    . .How To Tweet Using SMS…

    a BIS blackout is NOT an internet bkackout !

    Not everybody uses a blackberry , not so?

    If your BBS is cut out but you still have internet access somehow, what would be the gains of going through bulk SMS as against visiting Twitter homepage directly?

  6. @Harry
    ‘If your BBS is cut out but you still have internet access somehow, what would be the gains of going through bulk SMS as against visiting Twitter homepage directly?

    As an Android user, you know the less time you spend online, the less data you cconsume. More money in your pockets!

    Ths is just an instance you may want to use sms -despite having internet access.

    You may also want to send a ‘scheduled tweets’ – via sms.

    Those are two reasons that come to mind.

    Choice is always good, bro!

  7. Also, Harry, Sometimes during moments of intense activity (eg when late Michael Jackson died) Twitter is sometimes ‘over capacity’.

    Using the sms method saves the day in such situations.

  8. @Eye.bee.kay

    As an Android user, you know the less time you spend online, the less data you cconsume. More money in your pockets!

    Ths is just an instance you may want to use sms -despite having internet access.

    You may also want to send a ‘scheduled tweets ’ – via sms.

    Those are two reasons that come to mind Choice is always good, bro!

    If you have to use your Android phone to use the bulk SMS service to access your Twitter account, you are still making use of the internet all the same and spending the time on the internet that’s supposed to make you poor and that’s before factoring in the cost of the bulk SMS service not withstanding how infinitesimal the additional cost is.

    Now don’t always be carried away by those marketing brios. Bulk SMS as the name implies means you buy the service in bulk that can run into several thousands. Bulk SMS is actually designed for corporate bodies and SMEs.

  9. @Harry Echemco, this is the way my mind is working.

    With bulkSMS, you would be able to send several tweets at once. Lots of bulkSMS services allow you to lump all your sms into a text file and send with a single click. That would be equivalent to sending several tweets if you were to visit tweeter.com.

    I am not a user of tweets, so would like to ask if tweeter allows you send SEVERAL tweets at a time. ( I am not taking about a one_to_many tweet. I am talking about many_to_one, or many_to many).

    As an Android user, which would be cheaper (if I need to send SVEREAL tweets to my ‘followers’) – lump all my tweets into a text file and send, or…

    Visit tweeter.com and consumer all my data on the data_inefficient Android OS?

    Your claim that bulkSMS is designed for SME/corporate organization is dubious. I use bulkSMS PERSONALLY. How about sending 500 sms Chrismas and New Year Greetings to all your phone contacts? Or inviting friends to a birthday bash, using bulkSMS?

  10. you two again! JESUS! if you two were married,it would take 2.5secs to start a fight, 60 secs to file for divorce.

    For the records,this writeup has nothing to do with the internet or using bulksms.naam!

    1. you two again [Harry & EyebeeKay]! JESUS! if you two were married,it would take 2.5secs to start a fight, 60 secs to file for divorce

      Classic!

      Still, their act provides entertainment for legion of our readers. Perhaps we should attempt a reality shjow with the two of them locked up in a room for 3 months, and having only their Android and Symbian smartphones on them respectively. No?

  11. one time i set my sms twitter handle on- i regretted that day.i thought mu phone was under a viral attack(i was receiving notifications at the rate of a tweet per 3secs) it was scary,untill i realised the source,i wet for the turnoff button,then i regained my sanity
    aside such,it thus serve as an excellent back up platform

  12. I don’t think bulk SMS in an ideal solution for tweeting.. Cox if you have internet service why don’t you just go to twitter directly. Anyways if you are considering a bulk SMS service provider in Nigeria . Kindly give u a try @ BulkSMSing… You will be amazed.

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