Zain Nigeria has introduced a special service that enables mobile phone users to keep up  with the latest trends, news, business tips and gossips on leading social networking sites  such as Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo via SMS (short message service).

The new Social Networking services will help users rise above the barrier of internet data  access and enjoy a quick link up with friends, former school-mates, colleagues and notable  personalities amongst others, on Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo simply by sending SMS to  specified numbers

According to Deepak Srivastava, Zain Nigeria’s Chief Operating Officer, the new services  demonstrate the company’s commitment to enhancing customers’ lifestyles by providing  alternate means of blogging and social networking irrespective of the availability of  internet data access on the PC or on data-enabled handsets.

Facebook is a social networking service that provides an avenue to connect friends, family,  and business associates. It is the largest of the social networking community which allows  users to add other users as friends and send messages to them, update their personal  profiles with pictures and messages, receive comments from friends, and several other  exciting ways of using the service.

Twitter is a social networking and macro blogging service that enables its users to send and  read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text based post of up to 140 characters displayed  on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as  followers.

Zain’s Twitter SMS service is designed to create direct access to tweets from customers’  mobile phones especially where there is no data access or they do not have data-enabled  handsets. With Zain’s twitter SMS, subscribers can receive TWITTER notifications, tweet and  update their profiles directly on their phones via SMS.

Yahoo Open Chat is an SMS-based service which enables customers to send and receive Yahoo  chat messages, without the need for internet access. This service is exclusive to prepaid  customers who have valid existing and operational yahoo accounts i.e. valid Yahoo user name  and password.

To enjoy the Facebook SMS service, customers are expected to send “ON” to 40405 to activate  the service on their phones, and follow all subsequent instructions.

On how to connect to the Twitter Service, he said, customers are required to send an SMS  with the word, ‘START’ to 40404.

Srivastava said that customers can connect to the Yahoo Open Chat service by sending the  letter L followed by Customer’s Username space Password to the short code: 38660, that is, L  haykay2005 XXXXX to 38660, saying that customers are advised not to include @yahoo.com at  the end of username.

The first three days of activating Yahoo Open Chat is free while customers are billed N100  for subsequent three days. Twitter and Facebook SMS cost N9 and N10 respectively per SMS