Canadian Twitter users will once again be able to send and receive updates as text messages on their mobile phones if they have wireless service with Bell Mobility.
That makes the company the first wireless carrier to offer full SMS, short message service or text message, support for the popular social networking application in Canada, Bell announced in a release Tuesday.
Until now, Canadian users could send Twitter updates or "tweets" via SMS. However, Twitter stopped allowing them to receive updates from other users via SMS in November, citing the cost. For the past three months, only Twitter users in the U.S. could receive the updates via SMS.
15 cents per tweet
Bell is charging users 15 cents for each Twitter message they send or receive, and the revenues will be shared between Bell and Twitter. The charge applies even to customers with an unlimited text messaging plan.
"Because Twitter is a third-party service, the messages are considered premium and not covered by our plans. This aligns with industry standards regarding third-party premium messaging," said Bell spokeswoman Julie Smithers in an email.
Twitter users may receive dozens of tweets a day from other Twitter users that they have signed up to "follow."
However, Smithers said Bell Mobility customers will have the option of restricting the updates they receive by SMS. For example, they could choose to receive tweets from only 10 of the 50 people they are following, or they could turn SMS service off altogether.
As of this February, Twitter is the third most popular social networking site on the web after Facebook and MySpace.