This appears to be a good and clever deal for both parties. Social network sites/applications are loved by both handset makers and mobile networks alike, the microblogging service is seen a potential driver in selling more expensive handsets and those potentially lucrative data plans. both handset makers and mobile networks alike, the microblogging service is seen a potential driver in selling more expensive handsets and those potentially lucrative data plans.
Starting today, Orange UK customer can send and receive tweets by SMS to and from their followers, and in a world first, also share photos on Twitter via the carrier’s Multmedia Messaging Service (MMS) as part of its newly launched ‘Snapshot‘ service - sort of like an Orange-branded TwitPic or similar sites. This additional Twitter functionality is to be included in customers’ existing plans and won’t cost any more aside from standard charges for sending an SMS or MMS outside of any included bundle.
What is really interesting for Twitter development in Poland is the launch of Twitter services via Orange IPTV later in 2009. Users will be able to Tweet on-screen directly when watching certain entertainment and sports programming. When you consider the level of mirco-blogging created on social networks by fans of 'reality TV' programming (currently my Facebook news feed is dominated by the UK's X Factor with viewing figures of 12-14 million per episode) - you can see that this might be very appealing for viewers, although a US experiment with Twitter on Fox was a technical failure.
However if Orange get this right technically, it could act as a real stimulus to user growth for Twitter (remember Twitter has grown to a be a global phenomena without using traditional paid-for advertising, so partnerships like this are critical to grow its user base). Currently Twitter is at the early stages of development in Poland, with 300,000 users, tiny when compared to Gadu Gadu and its 7,000,000 instant messenger users.