A fortnight after enabling Facebook updates via SMS, Telstra has rolled out a similar option for Twitter users, making it possible to keep up to date on what the world is doing even if all you can manage is a flaky 2G connection.
We’ve spent a lot of time complaining about the lack of a local SMS option for Twitter users in Australia, so this is a welcome development, even if, like similar deals elsewhere, it’s tied to a single carrier.
To set it up, you need to text START to 0198089488 and link your Twitter account to your phone number by replying with your username and (in a separate message) your password. Receiving updates is free; sending (to the same number) is charged at the normal rate for your plan.
If you’re following a lot of people, you’re likely to quickly get overwhelmed by the volume of messages you receive. To fix that, log into settings on the Twitter site and hit the Mobile tab, where you can switch the service off or opt to only receive direct messages. You can also opt to not receive updates during specific hours. For a really fine-grained approach, you can switch off receiving updates on your phone from specific people you follow, though this is a time-consuming task to set up.