Friday, May 18, 2007

SMS Dead? Don't think so

Roland's blogging about SMS being dead on the basis that "a well funded startup like Twitter which is full of smart people can't get SMS to scale".

I don't really know where he's coming from basically. Is this just an American feeling? I know the US has been slow to take up SMS, and that is because of the carriers over there, but in Europe and over here in the UK SMS is the way to communicate.

There have been some posts in response to this already, and I couldn't agree more with some comments made. If Twitter can't scale their own systems, then that's Twitter's problem, not SMS as a technology. Twitter developer Alex Payne admits that Ruby on Rails makes it difficult to scale the web application, but makes no mention of limitations of SMS.

Twitter and other sites have had security problems with SMS but these have been misuses of SMS, not SMS itself. Likewise, the Australian Bopo card has potentially the same problem, but again, this is not a problem with SMS.

These problems have come about from people implementing SMS solutions without knowing all they need to know about SMS in the first place.

Anyone who's read this Letter to American Execs should surely understand how far behind Europe America currently is with SMS.

SMS is quick and discreet. Email is ignored or deleted. Phone calls are too direct and intruding for many things, and IM is too.

SMS is not dead. Esendex has customers worldwide, and we send millions of messages a month on their behalf to prove it.

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