Airtel and Safaricom Clients Can Now Send and Receive Tweets Via SMS

Twitter is now available for Kenyan Airtel and Safaricom clients through SMS. You will be able to send and receive tweets as normal SMS after you have activated your mobile phone. Airtel will be tweeting by sending the sms to 40404 and Safaricom through 8988. You will have to master various tips and secrets of tweeting through SMS and also first how to activate your device.

Twitter for SMS has been suspended in Cameroon by the country’s government for fear of the citizens organising demos Egyptian style. GLO Mobile Nigeria also can Tweet. If your country Twitter through SMS has not been activated, You can now Tweet via SMS by texting +447624800379, +3584573950042, or +4915705000021.

First, you will need to go to Twitter Device link to activate your phone and set how and when you want to receive the alerts. You might not want to be getting Tweet SMS at midnight. You might also not like to get alerts of your whole timeline when you follow 50,000 Tweeps. So those you can set through this link.

You might also need to master the following;

Turning Mobile Twitter Updates Off and On

  • ON: turns ALL your authorized Twitter updates and notifications on.
  • OFF: turns off all updates except direct messages. Send STOP again to turn off direct messages too.
  • STOP, QUIT, End, Cancel, Arret or Unsubscribe: turns ALL phone notifications off.
  • ON username: turns on notifications for a specific person on your phone. Example:ON alissa
  • OFF username: turns off notifications for a specific person on your phone. Example:OFF blaine
  • FOLLOW username: this command allows you to start following a specific user, as well as receive SMS notifications. Example: FOLLOW jerry, or f jerry for short.
  • LEAVE username: this command allows you to stop receiving SMS notifications for a specific user. Example: LEAVE benfu, or l benfu for short.

Fun Stuff: friends, favorites, and stats!

Use the commands below to send private messages, favorite Tweets, and more.
    • @username + message

Reply: shows your Tweet as a reply directed at another person, and causes your twitter to save in their “replies” tab.
Example: @meangrape I love that song too!

    • D username + message

Direct Message: sends a person a private message that goes to their device, and saves in their web archive.
You can also use M username + message to send a private message now!
Examples: d krissy want to pick a Jamba Juice for me while you’re there?, m krissywanna pick up a Jamba Juice for me while you’re there?

    • RT username

Retweet: sends another user’s latest Tweet to your followers.
Example: RT Charles

    • SET LOCATION placename

Updates the location field in your profile.
Example: set location San Francisco

    • WHOIS username

Retrieves the profile information for any public user on Twitter.
Example: whois jack, w jack for short.

    • GET username

Retrieves the latest Twitter update posted by the person.
You can also use g username to get a user’s latest Tweet.
Examples: get goldman, g goldman

    • FAV username

Marks that user’s last Tweet as one of your favorites. (reply to any update with FAV, FAVE, or FAVOURITE to mark it as a favorite if you’re receiving it in real time)
Examples: fav crystal, fave crystal, favourite crystal

    • STATS

This command returns your number of followers, how many people you’re following, and your bio information.

    • HELP

Texting helpinfo, or aide to Twitter will bring up helpful tips.


Noteworthy Facts

  • Using on/off username from your phone only stops notifications coming to your mobile phone; you’ll still collect a person’s updates on the web since you’re still following them. There is no way to unfollow someone or block someone via SMS.
  • The following commands perform the same actions: FollowOn. And LeaveOff.
  • Following someone from a phone for the first time will also cause you to follow them on the web.
  • There is no way to stop following a person without visiting their web profile and removing them. The off, leave, stop, and quit commands will only disable mobile updates from that user.
  • You don’t have to use on/off username from the phone, you can also set individual notifcations from a person’s profile page on the web, or check your following page and manage all phone notification settings there


Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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