Twitter goes from 140 to 0 in the UK

Twitter continues its relentless march of decremental functionality and turns off free SMS sending in the UK.

Twitter earned support by offering something for free that previously wasn’t, essentially paid for by VC funding. Buying in a decent search engine must have left them strapped last month.

As bounder put it:

no SMS? Am I going to have to start using my phone to text? Gawd.

Why the UK networks no want to play ball? It might just be that they want to protect their revenues. They still just about manage to charge for txts and they’d now like the masses to also take mobile internet packages.

Let’s be clear. SMS is a dead-end, legacy, push mechanism for messages that demand your immediate attention. It was always going to be a temporary catch-all for old phones and habits until mobile internet gets a grip.

Bluemilkshake sums it up:

Twitter is just a site that doesn’t have as many features as Facebook.

Twitter was always much more formidable in its community spirit than its feature set. Now it doesn’t have any features that your average freelancer couldn’t roll into their own home-grown app. When APIs mean I can update Twitter/Facebook/RandomApp from anywhere then status sharing becomes a service where the only real difference between each app is that it can represent a different crowd to share the update with (the problem of duplicates remains unsolved in practice but trivial in principal).

If Facebook could let me restrict my updates to subsets of my friends (like Plurk and Pownce) and even optionally forward them to Twitter then I think I could have a second honeymoon with them.

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