Twitter partners with U2opia Mobile to provide access to mobiles without internet
With Twitter becoming increasingly popular with mobile phone users, the company is now trying to give access to the people using feature phones without an active internet connection.
According to sources, Twitter is partnering with U2opia Mobile, which is a Singapore based company, to make the popular microblogging site available to users in emerging markets who have entry-level mobile phones which cannot access the Internet. U2opia Mobile has already tied up with Facebook to offer this service and now plans to roll out the Twitter service by the first quarter of 2014.
Users without internet connect can access the U2opia Mobile Twitter service by dialling a simple code to get a feed of the popular trending topics on Twitter. The service uses a telecom protocol named Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). However this protocol does not allow viewing of pictures, videos or other graphics.
U2opia Mobile is present in 30 countries in seven international languages. It also has tie-ups with leading telecom service providers like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. As such we can expect the service to be available in countries like India as well.
Speaking about the service, Sumesh Menon, Chief Executive and Co-founder, U2opia Mobile said, “USSD as a vehicle for Twitter is almost hand in glove because Twitter has by design a character limit, it’s a very text-driven social network. Eight out of 10 people in emerging markets are still not accessing data on their phone. For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience.”