Weblog of Nazly Ahmed
This is more a follow up post to Tweets via SMS: Now active for Sri Lanka which I published on 2nd April 2010 when Tweets via SMS was first activated for Sri Lankan users. Twitter only supported receiving tweets via SMS from individual tweeps. Direct Messages were sent via SMS as well. But an important feature was missing. Twitter didn’t send @ mentions via SMS. A lot of tweeps asked me personally about this since they thought this was a fault by the local operator. But Twitter FAQs clearly stated that it didn’t support this feature.
Yesterday morning I suddenly realized that there is a sudden flow of SMS from Twitter. It was not from the tweeps I have subscribed to receive SMS tweets. Only indication was the @ mention. This is when I realized that Twitter might have activated this long awaited feature. All the doubts were cleared when I read Twitter blog : Instant Notifications.
There were mixed reactions from the tweeps since this feature was activated. While there is an option to enable/disable this service, my questions were not limited to that.
Forget about receiving only @ mentions, some even consider subscribing to a user’s tweet via SMS quite frightening and annoying. For most of us, Twitter has become an important part of our day to day lives. We often see Twitter conversions even among the tweeps physically sitting next to each other. There are tweeps in Sri Lanka who actually tweet every 2 mins. How scary would it be to subscribe to their tweets via SMS? Similarly the users who engage in long conversations will find receiving @ mentions via SMS quite annoying. The not so conversation type user will find it useful since it’s in instant notification while even on the move.
My take on this feature
I’m quite in the grey area. I’m one of those who wanted this feature desperately. I’m not the type who gets involved in long Twitter conversations more often. So I would have this feature enabled. But when I do engage in a conversation it can get quite annoying. So its a mixed thing where a hard and fast rule cannot be implemented. So I will go for a test run and see what the outcome is. There is also an option to receive @ mentions only from the people I follow, which can eliminate the unnecessary noise, but again will be one of those features you would keep it enabled to see how it goes. Much thanks to Twitter for enabling this service. Let the fun begin…