Twitter – the most popular micro-blogging platform available today. I’m a proud member of Twitter and I tweet on an almost hourly basis. My twitter profile contains tweets of all variants such as “at home, chilling”, “doing some work in the office” and “in town having lunch…”. In fact, it was this last tweet which I made yesterday that inspired me to write this article.
You see, I didn’t tweet from a PC, nor am I the owner of a high-tech iPhone. I am what you could call a “low-tech tweeter”. I own a Samsung Tocco Lite mobile phone which cost me just under 130 Euros – pretty average if I do say so myself. When you dismiss the touch screen, all the other features are basic and it’s a little slow with carrying out tasks. There is no Wi-Fi and no 3G. Yet, I still tweet while on the move with photos, links and status updates.
I would like to demonstrate a few low-tech ways to Twitter from a cell phone.
Firstly, let me say that to tweet from the top deck of a bus, the beach or a mountain all you need is a mobile phone such as the ancient artifact seen here on the right.
Twitter supports SMS tweets. All you have to do is log into your Twitter account and select “˜Settings’ up in the top right-hand corner of you screen. From the list of tabs that appear, select “˜Devices’ and enter your cell phone number. Then, verify your phone by texting the code that appears on your screen to the Twitter phone number beside it. Also, save this number as this is the number you’ll send your tweets to via SMS.
If you live in the US, UK or other major territories then you can toggle whether or not you want to receive tweets from other people to your phone by sending “˜ON’ or “˜OFF’ to that number.
This is all well and good if you’re a basic tweeter but many of us like a little more interactivity. A previous review of mine here on MakeUseOf holds the answer – Snaptu. In summary, Snaptu is an application for basic cell phones that uses GPRS to get you the weather, film reviews, news, sports updates, allows you to use Facebook and more to the point in this case, Twitter.
The Twitter function is highly detailed and better than what you’d expect for a basic cell phone app. You can tweet till the cows come home by selecting “˜Update Status’, scroll down through hundreds of tweets, reply to tweets, follow links in tweets and view people’s profiles.
But hey, what about pictures? Well, I tried several applications and I can safely say that for basic cell phones they just don’t make the cut so e-mail is your best option.
I actually think this is better than using applications which require you to start them up and take the picture using their bad camera function. With e-mail, you simply snap and send when you wish. I suggest using TwitPic, which Mark recently reviewed. Go to their site and create an account using your Twitter ID.
Then, click ‘Settings’ and use the options there to set up your e-mail function. You’ll be given a unique e-mail address to which you can send your snaps. A sample one might be JoeBloggs.firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, when you’re sending the e-mail from your phone, use the subject line as your tweet. As you can see from the picture I tweeted above, my subject line was “My train is here! Yay!”. Needless to say, this will also appear in a link and message on your Twitter profile.
You can use the above methods of low-tech tweeting on basically any cell phone that is post-2005. Once it has a camera and GPRS or EDGE, you should be fine. One tip I will give is to watch out for GPRS charges. They can be costly on some networks. My carrier has a cap of 99c per day and many others the world over offer similar packages. Just phone your network to enquire.
So, how do YOU tweet? Are you old-school or high-tech?