Sending To Multiple Twitter Accounts From One Device using SMS (text message)

fetchit-21

Update: You can now signup and help in testing. http://bucket.harrybailey.com

I have been working on something recently to make my Twitter life a lot easier.

I don’t have an iPhone and I’m not planning one getting on in the near future, so I send sms messages to Twitter to update my status. Simple enough when you have one Twitter account. You just add your device ( phone ) to Twitter, tell it when to send you sms messages, and what to send you and off you go.

Sadly you can only apply a device to one Twitter account and can only send updated to one account from your device via sms.

Until now!

I sat down one evening with a lovely cup of tea and had a good think. The twitter api allows access to account updates, @replies and direct messages so their must be a way to allow the update of many accounts from one device.

What I came up with is called bucket. You can add as multiple Twitter accounts to bucket and then can update them by sending sms to your bucket account.

You bucket account is just another Twitter account with no followers and set to private, so if ( like me ) you are on Vodafone in the UK, it is still completely free just the price of a text ( or part of your monthly allowance ).

Additionally you can ask bucket to collect any @replies sent to your registered accounts and send them to you ( using your bucket accounts direct message ) using sms.

So you can send to multiple accounts, can receive @replies from multiple accounts and can use the standard Twitter sms methods to get any updates you want from your friends accounts.

Facebook status support should be added soon, and then from there the sky is the limit.

Bucket is currently very young and needs some testing, so if you would like an account, add a comment to this post which includes your Twitter account, and I’ll send an invite to you via direct message on Twitter.

Update: You can now signup and help in testing. http://bucket.harrybailey.com

8 comments.

  1. What I am trying to do: I have two twitter accounts (one personal, one biz). I have one mobile phone. I can access both twitter accounts via software is installed on phone.

    What I can’t do is receive an SMS notification from both twitter accounts due to twitter rules (only allow one phone number to be registered).

    With ‘bucket’ can I have both twitter accounts send an SMS to my phone?

  2. I have plans to get this out to those who requested invited in the next couple of weeks. It still has bugs, but that’s what testing is for!

    Sorry about the delay.

    Update: You can now signup and help in testing. http://bucket.harrybailey.com

  3. Awesome, this is truly great. Is the 3-account limit a technical limitation, or just arbitrary?

    I’ve never delved into the twitter API but I can see how this would be possible – nice work making it!

  4. Hi Rick,

    It’s not a technical limit no. Just in place to minimise effort of bug finding in initial stages. The actual limit may be increased in coming weeks and depending on peoples requirements.

    Filtering is currently done every 5 minutes, which again is open to change.

  5. Harry,

    Thanks for this – and the inspiration. I’ve taken the idea further on my own server, allowing myself to send myself reminders and update my budget all through my “bucket” account.

    http://www.djomp.co.uk/pages/update-multiple-twitter-accounts-via-sms-from-one-phone

    Obviously this is a very simple-use example as it’s only set up for me to use, and I’m the only one with access to my server!

  6. […] will allow you to post to multiple accounts with some code inserted in the SMS before the message. hxxp://harrybailey.com/2009/05/sendi…-text-message/ hxxp://www.djomp.co.uk/pages/update-…from-one-phone What I am looking for is a script that does […]

  7. Harry,

    This looks interesting. I wear several hats and have different Twitter accounts and sometimes need to SMS to different accounts. Two questions:
    – Does Bucket send one SMS to all, or can a user choose which accounts to post to?
    – Can multiple phones SMS to a single Bucket?

    Good stuff, either way!
    Mark Allen

  8. Hi Mark,

    Bucket doesn’t send sms itself. It uses Twitter functionality (such as sms sending) to work around Twitter limitations.

    You choose where your tweets are filtered to from your bucket using tags. You could filter a tweet from your bucket to one account #a or you could filter it to multiple accounts #a,b,c

    Each mobile needs it’s own bucket account and can only send to that bucket account. The Twitter limitation that started this whole project in the first place. A mobile device and Twitter account must have a 1 to 1 relationship.

    So the quick answers to your questions are 1. you can choose and 2. no but you can set up the same filter rules to the same accounts for different buckets (and therefore devices)

    Harry