Using Twitter With an Outdated Phone

Q: I'm not quite ready for an upgrade, but my archaic phone is starting to affect my social media presence. How can I stay connected without paying fees to use the Internet on my current device?

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A: iPhone and Droid users can download apps such as Tweetdeck and Twhirl, which provide full access to Twitter on-the-go. Since older mobile phones don't run a complete operating system, they can't support these more sophisticated apps. But that doesn't mean owning a basic phone totally shuts you out of the mobile social media game.

For those looking to tweet from any phone, Twitter provides a texting service. The service allows for varying levels of connectedness. At its most basic, it allows you to text tweets from your phone. To set up text messaging on Twitter, login to the service, go to your profile settings, and click on the "mobile" tab. From there, Twitter will prompt you for your phone number, and then give you an activation code that you must text to verify your account.

Once you've set that up, you can send tweets as text messages from your phone. You can also add other features, like receiving direct messages, @mentions, and tweets from certain users as text messages. The mobile settings page allows you to tinker with these different options. To indicate that you would like to receive tweets from a certain user, click on the phone icon on an individual's profile page. This will activate phone tweet notifications for that user. The page also outlines certain useful commands for mobile users. For example, if you'd like to retweet a message, simply send RT followed by the user's handle and their latest tweet will be retweeted.The full list of commands can be found on the sidebar of the mobile settings page.

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More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

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Rebecca Greenfield is a former staff writer at The Wire.

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