At least Twitter seems to get that not everyone can afford an iPhone or an Android.
Twitter is now allowing users to send photos to Twitter using regular text messages even from non-smart phones. To do this you send to the Twitter number, which is 404-04 for U.S. users, and it will upload through your MMS function. Since the appropriate MMS function is given up by Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, 02, Orange, Rogers Communication, VIVA, TIM Brazil, and Cellular South, there is a lot of the world market covered by this. This could actually work from smart phones as well, if it is more convenient.
This is a relatively standard idea for Twitter, which is making its way to being a permanent fixture in the mobile social networking world. Every day there are four billion tweets coming from SMS text messages every month, and that this spans nine languages and eighty countries. They are even using Fast Follow to let you get the messages even without a Twitter account and use commands.
This is just one more step for Twitter, and they will quickly dominate the mobile social networking field. The iOS 5 is making Twitter a permanent app, which means that it will have the same functional relevance as texting and email. This means that Twitter will begin to shift from a social networking website that can be used from your phone to a permanent mode of communication that is given equal representation as any of the phone tools that we have come to know. This is unique since it is still a third party developer to the phones and will then be replicated in the same way on each, which may be the major change in how functions are developed for mobile devices. Twitter’s basic function loans itself to the mobile social networking platform even better because of how quick and easy it is, but it is likely to only increase in the coming years. This may even signal a form of permanence where the basic functions of the phone are no long standard and instead they are just devices to support different social networking tools that will then customize the normal functions that come on phones, such as voice chatting and text messaging. iMessages certainly points in this direction.
The real shift can be seen in how Twitter has played in political unrest, and we can see the middle eastern revolutions as a real marker for how to use Twitter to communicate. As the police state repressed cellular service, people were still able to stay with their messages by pulling from another direction. This type of permanence of communication will become central to all mobile devices in the near future, and central to Twitter’s success.