back to article Twitter discovers MMS for photo tweeting

Twitter users can now pump pictures directly into their tweet stream using the Multimedia Messaging Service that has been languishing, barely used, for years. In the UK the service is already working on O2, Vodafone and Orange. Once one has registered a phone number with the networking site, photographs sent to the Twitter short …

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And I thought all the teens were using MMS to sext each other. Unless of course that's all in the mind of the Daily Mail.

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Meh

Even now, when I recently signed up for a new orange deal, they still referred to it as picture messaging and that I get 50 free a month. Of which, I send ... 0.

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Aren't picture messages / MMS messages generally charged at a significantly higher rate by most operators (regardless of content) , and often not included in "free" message allowances? For this reason alone I have hardly ever sent an MMS rather than a text message.

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Holmes

The reason I don't use MMS

is that I have unlimited free SMS in my O2 package, but each MMS message is 50p.

Thus I have disabled it on my phone.

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Meh

Inconsequential characters AND inconsequential pixels

...is the human race really ready for this bounty?

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Anonymous Coward

MMS, like WAP before it, was a great collection of protocols and formats. It could have been extremely useful, if it weren't for bad support in clients and servers at the beginning. Those content restrictions you mention were grafted on in an attempt to make it work, which shouldn't have been necessary but unfortunately was. Another lost opportunity for mobile.

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Anonymous Coward

The primary reason MMS never took off was greedy operators imposing a 30p charge on it's debut, along with a 'no it doesn't count as a few of your thousands of free texts either'. Whether it's gone down in price since then, or now qualifies for inclusive text usage (or, if the operator is truly enlightened, just a few more K for that day as part of your data package) is irrelevant as, rightly said, the MMS brand is so toxic I don't even have the inclination to investigate current pricing.

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Stop

Whoa there if you are on Three...

Unlike O2, who count an MMS as 4 SMS messages out of your allowance, Three charge you £0.25 for a MMS message. As I recently found out after jumping ships from O2 to Three and getting £5 worth of charges.

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Not any more

02 used to charge MMS as 4 of your free texts, but now it's billed separately, so I use my (reasonably) unlimited broadband and upload direct to Twitter, Facebook, email etc

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FAIL

Ha ha! (Nelson expects every operator to fail spectacularly)

I was still working at a handset manufacturer when MMS was being delivered. Promising standard, then...

They priced it so ludicrously high everybody ignored it.

Even now, it's still far, FAR more expensive than an SMS, so everybody still ignores it. If you've got a phone which can MMS, and you're in the twitographic, it can probably use the twitter app or the website, so you'll not be using MMS. In any case, it's all sent over the same air interface, with MMS being the more expensive option.

Unfathomable crap. Useless operators with no vision. It's the story of the last decade!

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Silver badge

You forgot to mention

Operators' obsessions with billing minute details meant that MMS never worked across national boundaries. They did eventually let people send holiday snaps to friends back home but never how to send something to anyone on a foreign networks. This hamstrung quite a view added value services and definitely encouraged the take up of other forms of messaging such as e-mail.

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Anonymous Coward

spoof number

have a laugh at someones expense

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Childcatcher

Service with millions of users, and questionable terms of service, now wants to start collecting mobile numbers...Hang on a sec, I've just got to turn off this siren attached to my tin foil hat.

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Alert

No mention to Whatsapp and similar services?

Those allow real-time multiparty chat, pictures and audio, and among some demographics they have complete replaced not only MMS, but SMS too.

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WTF?

mms to email?

Most phones that support MMS will allow you to send to an email address.

Do Twitter not realise this? There's no need for expensive shortcodes.

I've been using it for a while, but the exorbitant cost has precluded me from using it for any real purpose.

Still, it is handy.

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MMS more expensive than SMS? Only sometimes...

On a monthly contract, T-Mobile charges 20.4p to send an MMS ("picture message"), wherever in the world you are sending from.

Within the UK and from Europe, SMS messages are cheaper to send. However, if you are sending from a non-EU country back to the UK, it may be the reverse. (Exhibit A: an SMS sent to the UK from a T-Mobile phone roaming in South Korea, costs 40p, against an MMS at 20.4p.)

Remember, also, that data charges for UK mobile customers roaming outside the UK in a non-EU country, are pretty eye-watering - to take South Korea as an example again, we're talking £7.50 per megabyte. Given that fact, if one was visiting SK, and HAD to send a photo from a mobile to a family member or Twitter, and WiFi (free or otherwise) wasn't available, MMS might well work out the most cost-effective method.

A slightly extreme use-case, but it shows even MMS still has some potential uses...

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Silver badge

MMS, the networks don't even try to make it work

Last year I spent considerable time and far too much money @16p/MMS trying to work out how to make MMS work with Android on giffgaffs woefully poor MMS service (blame shared with O2).

Still nearly clueless about what's needed. Even after passing the hurdle of letting their shitty network know both phones are MMS capable, faking a profile they actually had in the O2 database (because they're too lazy to use the standard profile lookup mechanism for unknown devices), it was still nearly random.

Working one day but not the next, never working with some receiving phones but iPhones always received them... or something vaguely like what I sent. Randomly resized, recoloured, or even replaced by thumbnail images, MMS that never arrived yet got charged for. A complete mess.

Maybe if Twitter shouts at the networks long and hard MMS might finally start actually working. More likely we never hear about this again, MMS infrastructure is just too broken.

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Facepalm

TLA

The reason Twitter doesn't refer to this protocol as MMS as simply they're an American company, a large part of their user base is American, and most Americans wouldn't even have clue what an SMS is, let alone an MMS. One can wonder whether their understanding of TLAs much exceeds USA, OMG and WTF.

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FAIL

Vodafone charge 37p per 'picture message and 62p per 'video message'. Clearly prices designed to take drain money from the accounts of adult wage earners via their mobile-equipped kids. I think you have to be of a certain age and/or mentality not to see it for the daylight robbery that it is.

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