Vodafone and micro-blogging service Twitter have joined forces to allow Vodafone customers to text 'tweets' from their handsets.

Users can simply create an SMS with their tweet and then send it to 86444 and their Twitter profile will be instantly updated.

Vodafone is also allowing users to receive text messaging with updates and @replies from the twitter members they are following by simply turning 'Device updates' on or off, underneath the member's name in their followers list.

Vodafone said the service would be free for "the first few weeks" and then integrated into customers' bundles.

"We are delighted to be the only operator in the UK today to offer Twitter on SMS to our customers," said Al Russell, head of internet services at Vodafone.

"Since we made social networks on the move both simple to use and great value, customers have flocked to using these services which have exploded in popularity."