How to send mass text messages from your own number Jan 06, 2011

A couple of months ago we needed to make a service which would be able to send out sms text messages to a large number of people. The text message itself should come from a specific number so recipients would be able to reply back for more information.

Another requirement was the ability to send a text message to a specific number and then trigger the mass sending to the configured recipients.

The part sending out bulk sms is easy. A lot of companies have great, simple APIs to do this but they do not allow for incoming sms without paying a considerable up-front amount (easily $2k). We would like to avoid paying this and thought of solutions and found one using Twitter. Basically it should be possible to send a tweet (via SMS, which is possible) and have this tweet delivered to all your configured recipients.

We built ShoutSMS for this purpose but have currently disabled the Twitter integration since it was based on Basic Authentication which is going to be discontinued today. Instead we need to update our code to use OAuth and we plan to update this shortly.

The ShoutSMS service is very simple but very cheap as well. You sign up, confirm your number and import your list of phone numbers. Then you’re ready to go. Since we temporarily disabled the Twitter integration it’s possible to send messages directly from the site as well. Since we confirmed your number we are able to send out messages on your behalf so all messages will come from your confirmed phone number.

How ShoutSMS work - developer graphic :)

If this sounds interesting and maybe something your company could use for mass marketing, you should head over to the ShoutSMS web site and create an account. You will get a couple of free sms to check out the features.