Have you heard? Twitter has stopped outbound Twitter updates via SMS for those in the UK. Toys have been firmly chucked out of the pram, the internet is extremely vocal in their condemnation, and yes, there’s a Facebook group to get it reinstated.
But as the people behind Twitter point out, it was going to cost them $1000 per user per year, even if they capped the updates to 250 a month. And for a company with no business model i.e. no way whatsoever of making money, that’s quite a hit.
I agree with those who say this is disappointing, and I agree with those who question why this is the case only with the UK. But really – how long do we expect to get everything for free?
Not wishing to sound too much like one of those old people, I worry that we’ve become so used to getting all this stuff for free, we forget it’s a privilege, not a right.
Bittorrent’s an obvious example, and maybe the root of the problem. We became so used to getting our music for free, albeit illegally, the record industry are having to come up with one hell of a package to lure consumers back.
It’s easy to forget that whilst we’re busy bitching about Twitter being down, there are people out there trying to earn a living. Sadly, the internet isn’t a charity, and we’re not entitled to updates on people’s lives, sites without advertising or access to an infinite amount of music.
It’s up to the web companies out there to come up with a way of getting people to pay – after all, there were a lot of people that said they’d be willing to pay a premium for SMS updates. But it’s also up to us to recognise we’re living in a time where we’ve got access to more free information that ever before, and to show a little bit of appreciation.
Susi Weaser is the editor of Shiny Shiny, and probably doesn’t mind to much about the Twitter/SMS thing because she gets it through her Blackberry. Bloody hypocrite.