Why is this a big deal? It is a big deal because Bell initially imposed a 15 cents fee for each tweets sent AND received. Thankfully, 2 days later, outraged by Canadians, Bell folded and did not charge extra fees for tweets.
I am glad that Rogers and Fido did not go the greedy route and decided to charge extra for tweets. Finally, somehwat good news from the Canadian Personal Cellular Service industry.
What this means for social media?
Twitter is at its most effective when it is instant. I have an iPhone thus I can check on my tweets on my phone. However, I cannot be instantly notified. I can get my tweets hours later and miss out on a friend who was just a couple of blocks away from me. This is also a major milestone for Twitter penetration in Canada. Twitter is very useful for sharing information if you are on a computer but Twitter is a great way of connecting people both online and offline and that is only efficient when we can get instant notifications of the people I want.
It was a pleasant surprised today at lunch when I started receiving my friend's tweet. The next step for Twitter to take over Quebec is to translate its service to French.
Canada gets Fully Twitterized. Twitter announced on their blog on May 11th 2009 that Telus, Virgin Mobile and Koodo Mobile users can now Tweet and receive Tweets. Twitter reassures the users that they will not be charged extra fees for their Tweeting activities.