Telefónica has found a novel use for text messages with a new service that allows subscribers to use their social media accounts when data services are not available.

The Spain-based operator’s Pigram mobile app enables customers to post to Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and Microsoft Outlook via SMS.

Customers authorise Pigram to post through their social accounts and link their mobile number to the app, which can be downloaded from Telefónica’s website or the Google Play Store.

The subscriber is then charged according to their standard tariff for each individual SMS required, meaning that for those with plans including unlimited SMS the service will be free.

Developed by the operator’s big data business unit LUCA, the service is available in beta mode from today (29 November) to Telefónica customers in Spain with Android devices.

The telco plans to launch Pigram in Latin America in the future but has not announced specific dates yet.

Telefónica Chief Data Officer Chema Alonso said the service would be useful for organisations working in humanitarian disasters where communication services are impacted.

“Technology should help make our lives easier, but it is also crucial that it becomes an engine for social good," said Alonso.

"In a hyper-connected world it is essential that technology allows us to communicate at all times and in any circumstances, and even more so in emergency situations when communication is vital."

The operator launched LUCA last year to help enterprise and public sector customers make use of their own and Telefónica’s data.

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Telefónica

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