SMS Gateway Lets You Twitter By Text Message

[GuySoft] threw together a cellphone-based SMS gateway that allows him to push text messages to Twitter. Once up and running, it can be used by multiple people, either with shared or individual Twitter accounts. At its core, this setup uses the cellphone as a tethered modem on a Linux box. The open source software package, Gammu SMSD, provides hardware hooks for phones running in modem mode. The package is already in the Ubuntu repositories but it runs cross-platform and can be downloaded from the project site. This gave [GuySoft] the ability to script a framework that checks for received SMS messages, compares the incoming phone number for a match on a saved list, then pushes the message from a confirmed number to Twitter via their API.

A web interface is used to register new numbers and associate them with Twitter accounts. On the back-end, [GuySoft’s] own Python script handles the translation of the message. You can download all of the code, and get more insight on setup from the readme file, over at the GitHub repository.

27 thoughts on “SMS Gateway Lets You Twitter By Text Message

  1. This does have a good use. If you want to setup twitter to use a google voice number this would enable you to do so. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time.

  2. On the one hand, I like the thought involved here.

    On the other, I have been using Twitter’s own SMS system for years, so I have to agree with Abyss…done already.

    On the gripping hand, this does allow for more functionality, like an SMS-enabled remote sensing platform, or joining multiple phones to the same account. Maybe not as redundant as it seems initially.

  3. @Abyss

    Before you try to be smart in the first comment, I suggest you actually READ the article, even just the short bit here on hackaday.

    If you had bothered to read before trying to post a smart response, you would see that this forwards texts from a number of different numbers, allowing multiple authorized users to post mobily to the same twitter account without having interenet access. This would allow for example, a company to have several employees be able to post status updates on a given twitter account, without having to give them the logon information for it, thus giving whatever manager or whoever monitors it editing permissions and no chance of getting locked out.

    Also several of my friends and I have a “group twitter” where we put stuff that we mutually find funny and want to remember/pass along and whatnot. This would be fun to use in our situation because then we could all have access from our phones, and not all of us have phones with internet access, so just logging in isn’t an option.

    So it actually makes a lot of sense. Solution for a problem that you don’t have? Sure probably. But solution without a problem? Not at all.


  4. Funny I was looking for something like this so my street team can tweet from the events… So i found and last i heard (over 3 months ago) they were working on a feature like this but it looks like u got them beat.. This in conjuction with cotweet is the perfect solution for a company/team twitter account..awesome

  5. While i agree that there is clearly more going on here than the title suggests, perhaps that is part of the problem? You have always been able to twitter by text message, that was one of the original foundations of the service. So having a headline that reads “[something] lets you Twitter by text message” prepares you for a flamefest first and foremost. It makes the person who did the hack, and the person who wrote the title look bad. It looks like they don’t seem to be aware of one of the service’s (twitter’s) basic functionalities.

    Perhaps headlines should be written a bit more carefully to better illustrate what is going on? Something like “SMS gateway extends twitter-by-text functionality” or something like that. At least, maybe this headline was just below average.

    I certainly know that a bad headline can incite flamewars (which we clearly don’t want) – admittedly, most of the reason I clicked on this story was negative, because the headline made it seem, uh, well, dumb. It certainly isn’t dumb, but the headline did nothing to make that clear!

  6. @Taylor Alexander: Honestly, the problem here is that some of my fellow Americans are morons that think the world revolves around them. The title is just fine and describes the project adequately. It DOES provide the ability to Twitter by SMS and that IS a feature that is, apparently, missing for a significant number of people.

    The fact that most Americans don’t realize that not everyone around the world has access to that feature from Twitter isn’t really their problem. The fact that some American hackers are so quick to jump on a project, that seems not to be useful to them, and bitch about it is a sign of their own stupidity. The idea that things like headlines should be carefully written to avoid annoying douche-bag trolls is idiotic in it’s own right.

  7. This also doesn’t work in Belgium so I think it’s a nice hack. Even without a twitter account I like the way it does things. I remember a while ago there was a hack of a garage with a cellphone. Someone mentioned that it had a security flawn, this could solve that problem. Along with that I’d like to say that I hate the fact that some people here are putting hacks down for being useless without looking further than the hack itself. Yes for some people this hack is useless but with a bit of code alter it can become super handy.. Imagine something like this for your wordpress blog..

  8. @GuySoft

    What country are you from? I’m in Argentina and I have that service. It’s weird because we are the last in everything.
    It’s not sarcasm, i really want to know.

  9. As guysoft already noted smsing to twitter is available only in a few countries. most of the world does not have this feature short list:
    Egypt, Lebanon , Surya , Libya , India , Israel ,Jordan ,Turkey , Russia , Belarus , Ukraine ,Kazakhstan , Uzbekistan etc..

  10. wouldn’t it be more useful the other way round, ie posting an update to twitter and a text message being sent? Since a lot of phone plans have free twitter, you could perhaps try to take advantage of cheap sms services online or something?

  11. @Tomasito I am from Israel, I am pretty sure it mentions that in the blog post.
    The device is a fake Nokia phone, so note I am not sure you have that one specifically. However it does not matter, most phones have the ‘modem option’ today and should be good for the hack.

  12. it’s pretty simple to setup the whole modem stuff…you could get an old nokia from ebay, set it up and have your own sms gateway…in germany you can get prepaid cards and sms flats aroudn 10 euros…so you could have an sms gateway (sharing with others) for about 2 euro each (with 5 persons)
    but…never found an actual contract to allow that…would be interesting, would is your contractour ;)

  13. @nuit receiving SMS is free, so you don’t need to charge a prepaid with any money
    @Alan read the blog post before you comment, this sends information to the computer from your phone, not the other way round.

  14. Technology never ceases to amaze me. Every other say there are new developments and even more interesting things being talked about for future. Endless possibilities makes me even more curious.Wonderful insights here at you blog. Shall keep watching this space for more! :)

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