Thanks to Gerry over at nokiAAdict.com for alerting us to this information; the ability to update your social networks for free via 3UK…!
This needs a couple of different systems linked together, so we’ll explain what is involved…
You need to have a Skype account, and have a 3UK provided mobile phone which supports their “Skype at 3″ application (to test this, we used a simple 3SkypePhone, although the newer SkypePhone S2 or INQ1 may be more suitable as they are easier to obtain if you want to start from nothing). Since May 1st, use of Skype on the 3 network is free, which means you can use the instant messaging part of the Skype application from your mobile even if you haven’t topped up recently (Skype used to need a regular topup to let you login), and there are no data, call, or text charges for using Skype for simple chats.
You also need an account at ping.fm, which is a site which allows you to post a single message to multiple social networks at the same time. Once registered, you can provide ping.fm with your login details to the various sites you want to update in this way (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIN, Brightkite, Blogger, LiveJournal and even things like your AIM status or Google Talk Status can be set using ping.fm).
Once you have set these both up, you need to go to the ping.fm dashboard and link your Skype account to your ping.fm account (you’ll need to send a user specific verification code from your Skype client to the ping.fm Skype account (pingdotfm). To setup the link, you’ll need to select “Skype” from the Services / Tools area of the Dashboard and follow the instructions.
Having done this, your accounts are now all linked up. If you have configured multiple accounts in ping.fm, you can now use the Skype client to chat with the ping.fm Skype account. One way to send a message is to send it to a single social network, eg
- “@tt Hi everyone” would send it to Twitter, whereas @fb would send it to Facebook (this page has the full list of single service codes to use)
Alternatively, ping.fm has the ability to group your sites together; the initial groups created are “Statuses”, “Micro-blogging” and “Blogs”. Once you have recorded whether or not each social networking site should or should not be included within these groups, you can them send to the group of sites with a single Skype chat message. Instead of starting with @tt though, you need to start with @s, @m or @b for statuses, micro-blogs and blogs respectively.
This wasn’t possible until recently when ping.fm added support for Skype. Although we’ve covered ways of using Skype and Twitter together before, this is one of the most professional ways we’ve seen so far.
Oh, and if you go and drag an old 3 SkypePhone out of the cupboard to try this out, you may find you need to update the Skype client on the device for it to work without credit and let you login. If so, select Menu, Games & Apps (top right), My Applications, and then Options (left softkey) and Check upgrade; we found we needed the latest version (v188.8.131.52) for it to work (you will most likely find other devices have different versions, but you may still need to install the latest version).