Twitter has announced a new feature that will help businesses expand their social reach beyond the vast core user group of the micro-blogging service. Fast Follow will allow people to receive text-message updates from desired Twitter accounts without being required to open accounts of their own.
Users that want to follow a brand or a business on Twitter but are reluctant to sign up for the service can now simply text “Follow @username” to the number 40404, and that account’s tweets will be texted directly to their phones. Twitter’s blog post that announced the feature urged users to “Try it out the next time you see a Twitter @username at a restaurant or store, on a billboard or on TV, or if you hear one mentioned on the radio.”
This is not only good news for marketers but also an indication that people who follow Twitter solely through text messaging are an important part of the growing 100 million-plus audience. Twitter built its system for distributing tweets via SMS text messaging back in April.