So last week, Econet started advertising a new service they were calling Twitter Trends to their subscribers. After testing it out for a few days I thought it was a cash grab that no one should sign up. After using it for one week, I’m even more convinced that no one should sign up for this and Econet should really do better.
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I came for the hot trends
When I read the message Econet sent to me 7 days ago concerning this service I thought “this is kind of cool” and it may get many people who don’t use Twitter to sign. That message read:
Keep up to date with TWITTER! Dial *717*3*1# Now and receive daily updates of the hottest Twitter trends by SMS for only 5c/day.
I subscribed expecting the “hottest Twitter trends” but what I’ve been getting over the past 7 days is anything but hot or trendy. So instead of how trends what did I get?
…And left with disappointment and less airtime
Since signing up for the Twitter Trends service these are the messages I’ve received;
There’s no targeting whatsoever. Nothing relevant to the fact that I’m in Zimbabwe. In fact, the messages covered fitness, tech, motivation, animals, motivation. It seems whoever is curating these tweets is just throwing random darts at a board and picking whatever topic comes up. At least making the tweets relevant to Zimbabweans would have been a better place
Econet used to have a fantastic Facebook on USSD service that was useful enough considering that it worked solely on USSD. Through that, users could;
- check their news feed
- post an updated
- post a story
- receive messages
- receive notifications
When Twitter Trends was launched, for some reason I thought it would work more similarly to Facebook on USSD but clearly whoever was working on this wasn’t as creative nor do they care much about offering subscribers a service actually worth paying for.
And what of Facebook By SMS?
Facebook by SMS was launched just during the internet shutdown and we’re yet to test it out. I know they say fool me once, but I’m signing up for this service and I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that the experience won’t be a waste of my time as Twitter Trends has been. Worse more Facebook by SMS is more expensive at 10c/day so it better be worth the price of admission…