Likely designed for people that haven’t upgraded to a smartphone just yet, Twitter launched support for photo posting through sending a simple text message. While updating a Twitter account through text messages has long been a feature of the service, users haven’t been able to transmit mobile pictures without the help of a Twitter application. Since Twitter launched text messaging support for users, approximately four billion SMS messages are sent and received through Twitter each month. Users can also receive Twitter updates through text messages without having to open a Twitter account and follow a user, a service named Fast Follow.
The new photo SMS service is available in six countries across nine different mobile service providers. In the United States, users of AT&T, Cellular South and Verizon will be able to send photos to Twitter with text messages. It works with O2 and Orange in the United Kingdom, Rogers in Canada, Vodafone in Italy, VIVA in Bahrain and TIM in Brazil. Twitter is currently working with more carriers in these countries as well as new areas to expand the service. To send a photo to Twitter through a text message, a user simply types the text of the tweet in the text message, attaches a photo just like any other text and sends the text to the Twitter short code that corresponds with their country of origin.
In addition to the new photo service, Twitter highlighted a few SMS short codes that users can text to Twitter for useful information. For instance, texting “Suggest” sends a list of suggested users to follow to your mobile phone. Texting “Stats” to Twitter pings the service to send bio information, number of followers and a list of the accounts that the user follows. In addition, texting “Help” to Twitter sends over a batch of tips on how to effectively use Twitter over text messages.