Twitter is NOT free on Three

Image representing Ping.fm as depicted in Crun...
Don't use Three - use Ping.fm!

Don’t believe the hype. After their trial back in February, Three are now offering “free” Twitter if you’re a customer. The only thing is, it’s not flipping free!

Once you register you can set it so you receive texts when certain people you follow post a tweet. This is free. However, you tweet by sending texts to a shortform number (86xxx – something like that) which costs 10p a pop. These texts can’t be part of your contract bundle so you will face this charge even if you have unlimited texts per month.

How they can advertise this as being “free” is beyond me.

If you have an unlimited texts plan, then I still recommend ping.fm – it is free. Sign up, tell it your mobile number and when you text them they forward your posts to Twitter. Or facebook. Or anywhere else they support. The phone number is a genuine UK mobile and I’ve been using them for months so I can promise you they’re included as part of a UK texts package (unlike the actual Twitter number, which is based in the Isle of Man so doesn’t count, resulting in surprise charges on your bill).

They’ll also forward photos you send on to Flickr or facebook, though I prefer to do that via email.

Either way, just make sure you always read small print on things like this. And then wonder how something that costs money can be advertised as being free. Advertising Standards Authority anyone? Mind you, they’re the muppets that let broadband companies advertise “unlimited” capped broadband.

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Twitter free on Three (but why bother?)

The Twitter fail whale error message.
Nice try, Three...

I got a text message from Three (my mobile carrier) telling me that Twitter is free on my phone until March 31st. It uses one of those short-code phone numbers and there’s no indication of the cost once the promotion ends.

However, given that I have unlimited (erm… 4000 I think, so not actually unlimited) texts per month, this is utterly pointless.

I may have mentioned ping.fm before. If not, then head over there, register and link it to your phone number. It’s completely free and the number you send a text message to is a genuine UK mobile number, and therefore free to send to with any inclusive package.

It does a lot more than just post to Twitter, and it’s all customisable. I’ve set mine to forward text messages to Twitter and photo attachments sent via email to ping.fm are passed on to flickr. All of this is free, and doesn’t expire on March 31st.

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