SMS is new again with Twitter's new Fast Follow feature

Twitter breathes new life into SMS and goes back to its routes with its new Fast Follow feature.
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor on

Long ago a friend told me about this great service, Twitter, that you could use via SMS. You could type messages to a bunch of people at once or share your status, all within 160 characters. To put it lightly, I wasn't an early adopter of Twitter, but nowadays I find it to be an indispensable piece of my daily workflow.

These days you wouldn't think of relying on a text message to keep up with a friend, or business, but you'd be surprised. With everyone now on Twitter, it's difficult to keep in sync with your most important Twitter users. Now it seems that Twitter is feeling the same need and has introduced (re-introduced?) the ability to do fun things with SMS with Fast Follow. If you haven't heard of Fast Follow, it gives anyone in the United States (more countries to come?) the ability to receive Tweets via SMS, even if they're not already a user of Twitter. To follow someone you just text follow [username] to 40404.

I have to admit that when I first heard of the Fast Follow feature, I was thinking it was going to be underwhelming. Surprisingly, it ends up being pretty useful. The nice thing about it is how easy it is to use. First off, you don't need to be a member to get alerted to someone's Tweets. Second, you can unfollow as easily as you can follow. Third, you can get just the latest tweet from any username with a simple text.

There are many more features now available so check out the blog post to learn more.

I already signed up for a few text alerts, including some daily deals and some Tweets from a couple of people I follow. It's definitely an interesting way of getting certain people to shine above the rest, in the sea of Tweets. I also find it interesting that a service I had no use for when it was on SMS, just became more useful because of its ability to use SMS.

Editorial standards