HOW TO TWEET WITH A DUMB PHONE IN KENYA (and how to twitstalk someone)

Remember my post about smartphones vs dumbphones?


Well. My need for twitter led me to find a way to tweet on my dear 2,000 kenya shilling alcatel OT 305. (Why these phones are called OT i do not know, as no Otieno would be caught dead with one.)


With reference to the smartphones vs dumbphones post, I am getting smartphone cravings. Especially at this time when the Ideos phone is all the rage.

The solution is Safaricom’s Tweet to Text, (or is it text to tweet.)

Niko Na Safaricom ( I am with Safaricom ) so the experience here describes the process from a Safaricom point of view. However, if you are on airtel, text +40404

The system uses USSD, an SMS push-pull system, where you query twitter with keywords and in this case, are charged at standard SMS rates.

  1. STEP ONE: Send an SMS with the words START from your Safaricom Line to +8988
  2. You will receive an SMS welcoming you to twitter, and asking you to reply with your username.
  3. You will then receive an SMS telling you to reply with your Twitter password, which since you need to tweet, you do. ( Password is case sensitive)
  4. You are then ready to tweet!
  5. To send a tweet, just send your tweet to +8988
  6. To follow a particular tweep and receive their twitterstream, reply to +8988 with the word FOLLOW and the twitter username, for example, FOLLOW wwarero
  7. TO UNFOLLOW, do the reverse of step 6, ergo : UNFOLLOW wwarero
  8. To write to someone send @ USERNAME to +*8988 eg @wwarero
  9. If you need any help, reply or send a message to +8988 with the word HELP

The trick to not getting bombarded with twitter messages is picking who you follow very carefully…those guys who tweet once a day for example.

Of course if you are using this to twitstalk someone, then of course it does not matter how rapid their twitterfall is…

Another thing. I still have not figured out how to DM someone…and the help function does not tell how to. So IMHO they built this thing for twitstalking.

For me however, I have to say goodbye to this delectable and addictive service.

You see,the power of dumb phones is that of choice, the ability of leaving connectivity to the full experience of a laptop or PC.

You program your time to looking forward to the time when you will be online, managing your personal productivity by minimising interruptions.

As you know, twitter and smartphones perpetuate the “ALways-On” syndrome, constantly being bombarded by a flurry of information, always sifting through data to find meaning.

I mean seriously, thats why traditional media have prime time, daily newspapers etc. Because at a selected period of your time you feed yourself with the choice selection of the sweetest news and the rarest information, and find satisfaction.

So this, inter alia, has led me to terminate this service.

So this is their message back after i sent STOP to +8988

Ok, you are signed out and will not receive messages from Twitter.

Reply w/START to start using Twitter again with this phone.

More at


Breakup letter overtones, much?


4 thoughts on “HOW TO TWEET WITH A DUMB PHONE IN KENYA (and how to twitstalk someone)

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