Twitter is available worldwide, but for users without Internet access, the social network is teaming up with carrier U2opia Mobile to bring trending topics.
U2opia Mobile is available in 30 countries across seven different languages, and will offer subscribers the ability to see Twitter trending topics relevant to their area after dialing a special code.
Mobile Internet access is not required thanks to U2opia’s use of Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) which allows the transfer of just text.
From CEO and Co-Founder Sumesh Menon:
“USSD as a vehicle for Twitter is almost hand in glove because Twitter has by design a character limit, it’s a very text-driven social network. So somebody in Paraguay would definitely get content that would be very very localized to that market vis a vis somebody sitting in Mumbai or Bangalore. For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience.”
According to Menon, 80 percent of people in emerging markets are not accessing data on their mobile devices.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the partnership today, and according to Reuters, the new feature will launch to U2opia subscribers in Q1 2014.