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December 6, 2013

Twitter working to bring service to non-internet compatible devices

Users can receive Twitter feed of the popular trending topics by dialing a simple code.

By CBR Staff Writer

Twitter has reportedly collaborated with Singapore-based startup U2opia Mobile to offer its 140 character text-only experience in emerging markets where consumers cannot access Internet.

Offering similar services to Facebook, U2opia Mobile uses a telecom protocol named Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) and allows users to dial a simple code to receive a Twitter feed of the popular trending topics.

USSD telecom protocol does not allow viewing of pictures, videos or other graphics.

U2opia Mobile chief executive and co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters that the new Twitter service would be launched in the first quarter of 2014.

"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," Menon said.

"For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience."

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About eight in 10 user in emerging markets are still not accessing data on their phone, the report added.

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