Twitter could be about to increase its user base significantly with news that the company has partnered with a Singapore-based start-up to bring the microblogging service to handsets that lack Internet access.
U2opia Mobile's Fonetwish service, which uses a telecom protocol known as Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), allows users to dial a number in order to receive a feed of Twitter's trending topics at any given time.
The move could see millions of people in emerging markets trying Twitter for the first time, though the service, which is due to launch by March 2014, will be text-based as the technology doesn't allow for the transmission of images or videos.
"USSD as a vehicle for Twitter is almost hand-in-glove because Twitter has by design a character limit, it's a very text-driven social network," U2opia chief executive and co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters this week, adding, "For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it's going to be their first Twitter experience."
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