The main and original purpose of Twitter is micro blogging via SMS thus the limit of 140 characters. I believe at the early stage of Twitter, anybody around the world can send updates via text but of course they have to pay international text rates. Then, somewhere down the road, it was stopped.
Outside USA, few countries can tweet 2-way (send and receive updates) via SMS because of the huge charge of international SMS rates. They used to service Canada but was cut off some time in November last year as costs were too huge. But in February, 2009, the 2-way SMS tweet update was restored in Canada by partnering with Bell Mobility, a Canadian based network provider. UK got its 2-way SMS twitter update via Vodafone last March2, 2009. Then in July, 2009, Twitter partnered with O2, another UK-based mobile network provider, to also provider 2-way SMS twitter update in UK.
Then the latest country to have this 2-way SMS twitter update is India. Last October 14, 2009 when they announced in their blog that 2-way SMS twitter update is available in India via Bharti Airtel. This is said to be the Twitter’s first entrance to the Asian market.
But long before Twitter 2-way SMS update came to India, or even before Canada has their own local-based 2-way SMS twitter update, Twitter update via SMS had long time started in Philippines. Following are fast facts of updating Twitter via SMS in Philippines.
Canada, the first country to have local-based SMS twitter update started last February, 2009, but here in Philippines it started in December, 2007 via phTwitters.com. As indicated in its twitter account, they officially started 5PM December, 29, 2007. Though, it was only a one-way SMS update but nevertheless, it shows that local-based SMS twitter update started very early in Philippine, one year ahead c0mpared to Canada.
Then, Globe has their Twitter UPD8, which according to their site was launched last August, 26, 2008. Though, I’d like to add that it is unknown if this really works reliably.
Then, it was possibly followed by Sun Alertz by Sun Cellular last February, 2009. I have no concrete source but just based on the date the domain, sunalertz.com, was registered. (I’m finding ways to confirm this yet. This will be updated.)
After 3 months, on May, 21, 2009, InfoTXT of Erick Kalugdan announced their SMS twitter updating (one-way), which they named isip.ph, based on his twitter update. You would usually know if tweet updates are made via isip.ph because the tweet would usually end with ‘Update via SMS for FREE using http://isip.ph.’
Smart launched their Twitter Mobile, like a week after isip.ph, on May 31, 2009. I cannot seem to find an official post in Smart website about this. My only source is rickspot.com blog. Basing on the blog, it looks like the Twitter Mobile of Smart is only one-way SMS twitter update.
Then, the last player to be added to the SMS-Based Tweeting Update application here in Philippines is @tweetitow which came in July 31, 2009. But though it is late, it catches up by being able to provide a 2-way SMS based twitter update. But then still, it started months earlier than Bharti Airtel of India. Even the latest player in Philippines is still ahead of the supposedly first entrance to Asia of SMS-based Twitter via India.
Though, phTwitters already stopped providing service sometime in the 2nd quarter of 2009, and Isip.ph stopped accepting new registration of users but service still continues to the registered users, but still undeniably Philippines can rule the SMS-based tweeting update. And, we did came first to innovate a local-based SMS twitter update outside US, and it was not even by a big mobile network provider.Can you imagine the possibilities of our Filipino brains?
This shows how innovative we are.