As you know, Twitter is a free service. However, Phil took time to remind folks today in a blog post that if you choose to send and receive some of your Twitter updates by text message, standard texting rates do apply. So, (depending on your particular mobile contract) if you go over your texting limit you might get billed more. Not everyone uses texting with Twitter but if you do, it’s good to know what sort of contract you have. Is it unlimited or are you allowed only a fixed amount per month?
We do state that normal rates apply in our FAQ, help pages, and other spots but Phil found some prolific Twitter-texters who were surprised that they went over and got charged. Tomorrow, we’re going to scour the site and see if there aren’t some more prominent places we can make sure folks are aware of this. In the meantime, do keep in mind that while we don’t charge for any of our Twitter services, standard rates do apply if you do text messaging on your phone.
Phil also floats the idea that Twitter somehow earns money from your texting while in fact the opposite is true. We’ve negotiated for good bulk rates but we still pay for this SMS traffic just like we pay for storage, hosting, employee salaries, Odwalla bars, tea, the occasional team lunch, and all the other parts of running Twitter at Obvious HQ.