The first services hoping to pick up where Twitter left off are popping up this week.
Twitter pulled the plug on its outbound text messaging service for all of the UK last Thursday, saying the service was simply causing it to lose too much money. Needless to say, the decision drew plenty of negative reaction from users who came to rely on their text-based Tweets.
Now, though, two new companies have surfaced with hopes of filling the gap. TweetSMS first showed its face a few days ago, as profiled on Mashable. The soon-to-launch site promises to send individual, hourly, or daily SMS updates for “a very small fee.” TweetSMS’s site isn’t live yet but indicates it is coming “very soon.”
One step ahead, Australian-based TwitSMS made its debut over the weekend and is now fully functional. Founder Jeff Bonnes — a Twitter user himself — said he was annoyed at the discontinued SMS service and decided to take action, piecing his business together with his wife in a matter of days. TwitSMS is charging £0.07 per message for UK-based users. Australians will pay $0.11 AUD per text. The messages have to be purchased in advance packages of 100, 200, or 500.
In the meantime, BusinessWeek is predicting more changes ahead for Twitter users worldwide. The site has to find a way, it says, to start pulling in the dough. Its prediction? First banner ads, then possibly contextual ads within messages — and ultimately, BusinessWeek suspects, a full acquisition and integration into another existing service.