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Twitter buys Cloudhopper to help SMS tweets go around the world

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Twitter Inc. announced Friday that it acquired a company that would allow it to efficiently send massive volumes of text messages around the world.

The company, called Cloudhopper, manages large-scale SMS campaigns (that’s short message service, or text messages), giving companies the computer and networking power to quickly send millions of messages around the world.

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Twitter says it has become one of the world’s largest originators of SMS messages, creating and sending more than 1 billion every month.

It would not disclose the price it paid for Cloudhopper.

‘Twitter was inspired by SMS and we continue to embrace this simple but ubiquitous technology,’ Kevin Thau, who manages mobile partnerships at Twitter, said in a blog post.

The company began in 2006, largely to take advantage of the rise of SMS -- a service that allowed mobile phone users to send one another short messages (for the history of why tweets are capped at 140 characters, click here). The company’s creators saw that the technology would let people ‘update’ groups of friends and colleagues from any mobile device -- and the core idea of Twitter was born.

Now, as the company grows, it’s looking to ensure that its text-messaging functionality can handle the weight put on it by tens of millions of users scattered across the planet. To make the flow of text messages seamless, the company wants to make sure the digital roadways that relay messages around the world are well-paved.

‘Cloudhopper will continue to work with us as we invest further in connecting with more carriers and making SMS tweets increasingly useful and innovative,’ Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner said in an e-mail.

-- David Sarno


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