Posted on – A Free Email to Direct Message Service (and Email to SMS too)

I just uploaded Tweet Beeper to Google App Engine. It’s a simple application that receives an email, and then converts the subject line into a twitter direct message (which in turn can be an SMS sent to the recipients phone). A little whimsical, I know, but the weather was fairly average here this weekend!

TweetBeeper in 1 Minute

How do I use it? Easy!

  1. Follow @TweetBeeper on Twitter.
  2. Send a subject-line email to:
    your-twitter-id [at]

What can it do?

  1. Cron Job Output to Direct Messages
  2. Webstore monitor failures to SMS
  3. Magento Sale notification emails (or any store)
  4. … and any other situations where email to SMS would be handy - Email to twitter Direct Message service

Why Use It?

TweetBeeper just does this one simple thing but it’s a piece of glue that my partner Cindy needed for her business Cheap Titles – they provide good value Certificates of Title in New Zealand within an hour (that’s fast!).

Basically when a title sells, Cindy needs to be notified that a land title search is pending. There wasn’t any obvious, easy (and free) email-to-SMS services that didn’t rely on the carrier code style email addresses (for example

However, Twitter does provide a SMS service for status updates or if you enable it, just direct messages. I figured I could glue together email and Twitter direct messages into a service that would let WP-E-Commerce send it’s notification emails directly to a special email address that in turn pings Cindy wherever she is via twitter direct message (and SMS).

Because I hate running web apps on my own servers – I use Google’s App Engine, which is a brilliant platform – I think it’s the future of computing.

Note: The observant among you will spot that Cheap Titles is an e-commerce store, but it is NOT running Magento, don’t worry I haven’t sold my soul – in fact I have an interesting blog article coming soon that compares WordPress + WP-E-Commerce with Magento. So subscribe to stay tuned.


There are several things I know I need to address (though if you spot other issues, please tell me!)

  • How can you ‘verify’ email addresses, like when using Gmail filters to forward specific emails to Normally you have to click on the link in an email to prove you own the address, and thus can send emails to it. (Gmail itself is a special case, because they put the activation code into the subject line of the email, which in turn gets sent as a direct message. Other services, not so.)
  • How to set up a mail server, or even better a reliable free service, that will turn forward emails of the form to – just until Google fixes this bug.
  • *bother* … I had another one in mind during development and now I forgot! I offer a mysterious prize for someone if they raise an issue that turns out to be the one I forgot!


This service was built by me using Google’s App Engine and Twitter4J. The cute bird is Pasquale D’Silva’s.

I would encourage everyone to try this Email to Tweet service out and let me know their thoughts.

One thought on “ – A Free Email to Direct Message Service (and Email to SMS too)

  1. You are a lifesaver, but I worry a bit about privacy issues, how can I be assured you are not going to steal my identity?

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