O2, the exclusive carrier for the Apple iPhone, has teamed up with Twitter to make its users tweets mobile. Previously it has stated that the service would go live in August. Today O2 has announced that it has got "everything ready early so we’re making it available now!".
Earlier in the day on its own Twitter feed O2 stated "We've got some really good news for Twitter users on O2 coming later this afternoon - be here to see what's coming...".
The previous Twitter announcement had O2 teamed up with micro-blogging service Twitter to turn Twitter updates into free text messages for @ replies and direct messages.
Every O2 customer is now able to switch on text notifications within Twitter and receive replies and direct messages for free. They will also be able to send updates to Twitter as part of their normal text message bundle or for the cost of a normal text.
O2 already has similar partnerships with social-networks Facebook and Bebo.
Once switched on, replies and direct messages will start to come through by text throughout the day, although users can choose to turn them off at certain times if they so wish.
O2's instructions for setting up Twitter messages on mobile devices:
"To set Twitter texts up, head to Twitter, choose Settings then Devices. Once you've followed the prompts there, you can then choose which followers you want to get texts from. You'll then receive each of their status updates by text message - you can also choose to receive every direct message you get too.
"From today you can also send Twitter updates to 86444 - texts to this number will cost your normal text message rate or be part of your inclusive bundle. We've put together a list of some questions and answers about how to use Twitter on your O2 mobile below. You can find more at Twitter's website."
It's free to receive Twitter updates by O2 text message.
Users can receive status updates and @mentions from friends you have turned on device updates for, and direct messages.
O2's fair use policy: People who receive more than 600 messages per month will be asked to moderate their usage. "Otherwise, it's going to impact the experience for everyone else," says O2.
Users can send updates, direct messages and control their device notifications by text message. There's a list of command codes here.
All texts are sent to 86444 and will be charged at the normal text message rate or come from the user's inclusive text bundle.