Twitter, Bell work out deal on costs
Bell Canada and online social messaging service Twitter have reached an agreement to let customers with text-messaging bundles use the service without additional costs.
The announcement comes two days after Bell Canada said it had an exclusive deal to offer the service to mobile customers in Canada but would be charging users 15 cents for each message sent using its the social messaging application.
Bell's announcement drew the ire of Twitter users in Canada, who expressed frustration that the charges applied even if customers had an unlimited text-messaging plan. Twitter users may receive dozens of tweets a day from other Twitter users that they have signed up to "follow."
On Tuesday, Bell spokeswoman Julie Smithers said the reason for the additional charge was that Twitter was considered a "premium" service and was not covered by the company's plans.
On Thursday, however, Twitter said on its blog a deal had been worked out.
"Twitter and Bell have agreed that Bell customers on the company's text messaging bundles will be able to receive unlimited incoming Twitter SMS messages at no extra charge," the company said in a statement.
Smithers told the Vancouver Sun Thursday that Bell is backing down on the additional charge for Twitter texts.
"Bell and Twitter have agreed that all Twitter SMS (short messaging service) messages will be included in Bell text bundles at no charge," Smithers told the Vancouver Sun.
As of February, Twitter was the third-most-popular social networking site on the web after Facebook and MySpace, but its use in Canada has been limited in the last three months.
Before Tuesday's announcement, Canadian users could send Twitter updates or "tweets" via SMS, or short message service. 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.