Twitter's SMS Feature Endangered By Wireless Carriers

Just this week, I was applauding Twitter for rejecting an offer from Facebook. One reason I noted was that Twitter's SMS text feature makes alerts from twittering (tweeting?) news outlets such as ZDNet even more valuable. Now, that feature seems headed for the history books as wireless carriers impose fee hikes on sites like Twitter that send outbound SMS messages.

Today, Twitter said it was discontinuing outbound SMS service in Canada, where the company has been hit with a billing change. Users can continue to send tweets via SMS - but forget about receiving them. It can't be long before the same thing happens in the U.S.

This is really upsetting because users already pay extra to the wireless carriers for SMS texts - either per text or a flat fee for unlimited usage. And, quite frankly, I don't trust the "it-costs-us-too" line of garbage they're spewing. Last month, when it was revealed that Verizon was going to impose a three-cent fee hike, effective Nov. 1, the company quickly back-pedaled and said it was just an idea that was floating around.

Something stinks here and it seems to be coming from the wireless carriers. Congress has already launched a inquiry into the doubling of the price-per-text that consumers are charged. Maybe that inquiry needs some expanding.

Previous coverage: Text message pricing: Is Sen. Kohl fighting the wrong battle?

Sam Diaz is a senior editor at ZDNet. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Credit: ZDNet

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