I am going to talk about 2 interesting but India specific Google offerings here. Although Indians don’t SMS/text as much as they used to in good old days, there are reasons to chear courtesy Google. These 2 SMS services are called:
Just read on Alootechie about the launch of Google SMS in India. You can now search by simply sending an sms to 54664 (5GOOG) from your mobile. It will cost you upto Rs. 3 for each sms you send, however BSNL postpaid subscribers pay just 80 Paise for sending sms.
Some example of queries include: pizza andheri west mumbai, movies hyderabad, translate hello in french, weather Delhi etc. You can perform 9 types of searches/queries using Google SMS which makes it very very useful in my opinion. Currently this service is available only in Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
As an Google admirer I welcome Google SMS in India and await their rollout in more cities and with more service providers. Incidently google is also experimenting with mobile advertising and it will be interesting when google starts inserting ads in SMS and shares revenue with service providers and mobile users can use the service for free, I mean they don’t even pay for sending the message. That will surely be a google way to do the things. I am keeping my fingers crossed till then.
On June 21 I wrote about 160by2.com, an advertisement supported free sms service from smscountry.com. Just came to know about zestadz which is a complete mobile advertising platform and it allows advertisers to advertise on SMS, WAP sites and even mobile games.
Interestingly they are inviting game and content developers to join them and embed their ad-displaying code in their mobile games/content. They will share revenue with them as well, which I think can prove to be an attractive proposition for many developers and content developers.
They claim 1 million impressions per month on SMS traffic, however they don’t reveal if they have some tie-up with carriers to send such sms or have some users signed up, who have opted for letting them embed ads in their sms in return for free sms or other goodies.
Anyway a good mobile advertising option, I must say.
160BY2.com a website by the SMS solution provider – smscountry is offering free SMS to any mobile phone in India if you allow them to send the contextual advertisement with them. From what I have read on their website, they seem to mimicking the Google Adwords model.
Nonetheless I think its a good option. College students and youths can use it to send unlimited text messages to their friends for free. However I feel there are 3 issues with this service:
1. They don’t allow to send sms/text directly from user’s mobile phone. One has to visit their website to send sms. I think technology is there which can make it possible to send sms from mobile. Probably they are first experimenting with this approach and if they get some advertisers hooked up, they will begin offering sms originating from mobiles to be delivered to the designated mobile without the need for website.
2. As a policy to prevent spams they offer option to opt out to receiver, but you need to again goto their website to opt-out. This can be very annoying for someone when he is not able to go on internet to opt-out. There should be someway to opt-out using sms itself.
3. They don’t allow sending SMS to a list. You can only send sms one by one to your friends, so that kinda puts you off from forwarding some joke to all of your friends.
I feel if they are able to tie-up with some operators like Hutch, Airtel on revenue sharing basis then they can really rake in the moolahs from advertisers and operators can offer a special SMS package to willing subscribers and subscribers can send unlimted SMS messagees for free. I see this will be a win-win situation for everybody.
Overall I think its a good service and I wish them all the luck. Currently their service is by invitation only. However you can reach their invitation page at – http://160by2.com/requestinvite.aspx and request for an invite.