More to be Twittery About
The fine folks at Twitter keep improving their service. Ken Camp and I have been using it a lot lately. SMS–or at least things that use SMS–seem to be replacing most other forms of IM as my preferred method of communication. Why? Because my mobile phone is always with me. All of my mobile phones support SMS. I don’t have to install software on them. Even my low-end Nokia phones support SMS.
And that’s the nice thing abut Twitter, you can do all the messaging over SMS. Or if you don’t want to pollute your mobile phone with SMSes, then you can just look at the updates over the web or over a Jabber-based IM client.
Some additional improvements have been added to the service:
- One-line Bio: Since Twitter encourages you to express your thoughts an SMS message at a time (which is 160 characters), it is only fitting that the one-line Bio is limited to 160 characters.
- Self-Nudging: The system can nudge you to update your status if you haven’t sent anything in the past 24 hours. This is in addition to the manual nudges you can give to people to encourage them to update.
- Favorite Twitters: If you run across a message in you or your friends stream of consciousness, you can star it.
- Not-So Favorite Twitters: Conversely, if you don’t like a particular message you wrote, you may now delete it from your Twitter timeline.
- Proper Timestamps for Old Twitters: For messages sent within the past 24 hours, you get a “fuzzy” description of the time it was sent (e.g. about 11 hours ago). This also occurred for messages over 24 hours until now, where for old messages, a proper date and time stamp is given.
- Direct Messaging: You can directly message one of your Twitter buddies. Before when all the users used mobile phones, this seemed kind of silly. Why not send a direct SMS? But with people that can sign up over the web who don’t provide an SMS number, what do you do? Permit direct messaging over Twitter, of course.
All in all things are looking up. I’m still looking for the business model, though, i.e. where they are making their money from.