Twitter is expected to partner with a Singapore-based company, U2opia Mobile, to make their service available to phones without Internet access. Facebook is already a partner with U2opia Mobile. The news about the partnership was reported by U2opia Mobile co-founder and CEO Sumesh Menon in an interview with Reuters.
U2opia Mobile users will have to dial a code to get a feed of trending topics. There are over 11 million people that use the U2opia Fonetwish service. The services gives people access to Facebook and Google Talk on mobile devices without an Internet connection. U2opia utilizes a telecommunications protocol called Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD). USSD does not let users view pictures, videos, and graphics.
“USSD as a vehicle for Twitter is almost hand in glove because Twitter has by design a character limit, it’s a very text-driven social network,” stated Menon. U2opia is available in 30 countries and seven languages. The company will localize the Twitter feed according to the location of the user.
U2opia’s largest markets are Africa and South America. Some of U2opia’s partners include Telenor, Vodafone, and Bharti Airtel Ltd.