A few days ago, Egypt woke up to the sad news that Twitter is no longer delivering outbound SMS to few countries, including Egypt.
According to the Twitter Blog:
“Let's start with the bad news. Beginning today, Twitter is no longer delivering outbound SMS over our UK number. If you have been receiving SMS updates from Twitter via +44 762 480 1423, you'll notice that they've stopped and you may want to explore some of the alternatives we're suggesting.”
At first it was thought it's due to political reasons, as Twitter has played a very important role in enabling Egyptian activists spread information about their struggles , like during the last 6th of April Strike.
Writing in his blog Arabist, blogger and activist Hossam El-hamalawy says:
This is very bad news…
By deactivating SMSs in Egypt, Twitter just did the Egyptian government a huge favor the latter could not have dreamed of. The company has just deprived the activist blogosphere of one of its main tools for organizing and swift dissemination of information..
Soon enough, Egyptian bloggers started searching for alternatives.
Egyptian blogger Zeinobia guides readers on how to still “Tweet through the Mobile“:
Most of my Egyptian bloggers friends were so sad and shocked because of the news and they to move to the next best available in live and Mobile blogging , Google’s Jaiku , I like Jaiku and I am a member there , I like it because I can send it SMS as I want but the problem it is not as popular as Twitter.
Still there can be hope , I have found that Service “Tweet SMS” , it has not started yet but according to what they are saying users outside the U.S and Canada can use it as a bridge to SMS Twitter , so if you do not to move Jaiku, you can use it instead. Give it a try you will not lose but I must say that it can cost more than Twitter.
Another blogger, Jean-Pierre discusses other alternatives to Twitter in “Dumping Twitter? So is it Jaiku or Identi.ca?“:
So which one will it be? Will Twitterers Stick with Twitter, or jump onboard the Jaiku Wagon? Or are we going for open source solutions like idetni.ca? Personally, I prefer Jaiku on all three, but the simplicity of identi.ca is pulling my leg. I will however continue microblogging with twitter until I make my final decision, specially that I never used an SMS to tweet.