We’re big fans of Twitter here at IntoMobile (follow us @IntoMobile if you’re so inclined) but we understand that it can be kind of a pain to create an account when you just want to get a few tweets from someone.
The micro-blogging service is working to make this process easier and it will be using SMS to enable U.S. consumers to follow brands and people without ever having to sign up. The service has been dubbed “Fast Follow” and you can get it work by sending an SMS with the phrase “follow xxx” to 40404.
Try it out the next time you see a Twitter @username at a restaurant or store, on a billboard or on TV, or if you hear one mentioned on the radio. If you want to appear in a user’s followers list or start to get followers, you’ll need to create a Twitter account. You can SMS by texting ‘signup’ to Twitter.
Fast Following without creating an account is currently available only in the US, but we’re working with carriers to bring it to other countries.
Of course, Fast Follow could become annoying really quickly, particularly if you follow someone who tweets all the time. Because of this, the micro-blogging gives you granular controls over the SMS you receive. You’ll be able to hover over the Twitter account to toggle SMS on and off, as well as turn it all off in the settings page (if you have an account).
The roots of Twitter are in SMS and the character limit was due to the character limit on these text messages. It hasn’t forgotten how important SMS is to its business, particularly in developing nations and it recently purchased Cloudhopper to help manage its text messaging infrastructure.
I’ve long stopped using the micro-blogging service via text message when I’m mobile and have instead relied on the official Android app.
[Via Twitter blog]