Twitter joins Orange’s popular mobile social media aggregation services; Launching first in the UK, Orange will become the only operator in the UK to offer mobile users the ability to upload and share photos with their followers via MMS; Orange mobile customers to be able to tweet and receive alerts via SMS as part of their standard mobile plan; The two partners will work together to develop innovative new Twitter features for Orange’s TV, web and mobile services.
Orange and Twitter today announced an extensive partnership that will enable Orange’s mobile, internet and TV customers to use Twitter, the leading real-time social messaging service.
The partnership has been designed to give Orange customers fast and simple access to Twitter without the need to download special software or pay extra for services. This pan-European partnership will enable Orange customers to integrate Twitter features into their mobile service, for example, either through an Orange social media aggregation service or through SMS and MMS functionalities.
Commenting on the agreement, Paul Francois Fournier, Executive Vice President of Orange’s Audience and Advertising division, said: “At Orange we are committed to giving people fast and simple access to services that let them keep in touch with their friends and communities. As a major telecommunications player, we bring Twitter to a significant European audience. By integrating Twitter into our various mobile and internet services we are making it a greater part of people’s every day lives and ensuring our customers get access to the most relevant and exciting mobile multimedia services available. Twitter will thus extend the range of Orange partnerships already established with major players such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook, MySpace, Wikipedia and Ebay”.
The partnership will be implemented first in the UK, followed by France, Spain and Poland in 2009. It will then roll out across the rest of the Orange European footprint in 2010.
Adding Twitter to Orange’s Social Networking Aggregation Services
Twitter will be added to Orange’s social media aggregation mobile service, such as “Social Life” in the UK, “Mes communautés” in France or “My Social Place” in Spain. It lets customers view the latest activity on their social media sites in one central place. Designed to be fast and simple, so customers never miss any updates, these services are accessible from the Orange mobile portal, have a single login and a free SMS alert service. Twitter users will be able to see and post Tweets, via the Orange mobile portal or by SMS, without having to open their Twitter application and click through to their homepage. The service also includes Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and a range of other popular sites.
Tweets via SMS/MMS
Starting in the UK, Orange mobile users will also be able to send updates to and receive SMS notifications from people they follow on Twitter, in real time, wherever they are. SMS Twitter alerts will be included in customers’ existing mobile plans and the service is fully customisable. Users can choose who they want to follow. They’ll also be able to set times for receiving Tweets, chose a maximum number of daily Tweets and chose to receive updates in real time, hourly or daily.
Launching first in the UK today, Orange will also become the first mobile operator to enable its customers to tweet via MMS, by uploading and sharing photos with their followers through MMS to a shortcode.
Web and IPTV partnership
Phase two of the agreement will also see the two organisations cooperate to create a range of simple but innovative new services across mobile, internet and television, a first in Europe. In particular, the partners will explore ways of integrating Twitter into Orange’s IPTV platform (available currently in countries such as France, Spain and Poland), to create interactive Twitter feeds that will run during and alongside programmes.
Orange and Twitter also plan to develop enhanced search applications for web users within Orange web portals and Orange will embed Twitter widgets and applications on mobile devices from 2010.
“Sharing and discovering what’s happening in the world is a valuable exchange on all platforms,” said Kevin Thau, director of mobile products and partnerships, Twitter. “Partnering with innovative companies like Orange brings users even greater access to that powerful experience.”