While Twitter has been the love-child of the entire IT sector for over a year, things appear to be changing fast. Just months ago, they stopped sending SMS messages outside the US because they were losing money on this service. Shortly after that they detailed that this only affected 4% of their users. 

At first glance this is good news, but if you look a bit further it also means that they haven’t managed to build out their user base outside of the US. It also means the big hit is still to come now US telco’s are also starting to charge content providers for delivering text messages. 

And hot on the heels of that news, they announced yesterday that the IM update service is also removed, and won’t be returning soon

We intend to bring IM back. But we’ve officially moved it from our Things That are Broken list to our Things We Want to Build list. Based on our analysis, the cost-to-benefit for IM for the most users is not as high as some other things—so it will be a while before we tackle it. 

This means that as soon as Twitter drops the SMS service in the US as well, users will be forced to download a separate application or check their Twitter page manually to keep getting their friends updates. Remember this day: in another year, we’ll look back at it as the beginning of the end for Twitter. In two years, it will be nothing more than a place to notify your customers about outages… The only question is whether competing services such as Jaiku will do any better.