Twitter partners with Indian firm for SMS tweets

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The Independent Tech

Twitter announced a deal with India's top mobile company Bharti Airtel on Wednesday that will allow users of the hot micro-blogging service to send "tweets" at standard SMS message rates and receive them for free.

"In many parts of the world people do not have Internet access but they can text -- and that means they can access Twitter," Biz Stone, a co-founder of the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post.

"Our partnership with Bharti Airtel, the largest mobile operator in India, means a huge population of people can now send tweets at standard rates and receive tweets for free," Stone said.

"There are over one billion people with Internet access on the planet but there are more than four billion people with mobile phones and Twitter can work on all of them because even the simplest of these devices feature SMS," Stone added.

He said Twitter partnered with Bharti Airtel "because organic growth in the region has been unusually strong and there is huge potential for positive impact."

Twitter, which allows users to pepper one another with 140-character-or-less messages known as "tweets," has grown rapidly in popularity since it was launched in August 2006 and claims to have topped 50 million users.