NEW DELHI, 27 June 2007: Affle, a mobile phone media innovations giant, has launched a new platform for mobile text messaging or SMS.
Called SMS 2.0 (short message and search two point zero), the application boasts enhanced features, content, promotions and even a free internet search facility.
According to Anuj Khanna, CEO & chairman, Affle, this upgrade is expected to translate into an immediate increase of 10% in telco’s ARPUs or average revenue per person. This is because of every 200 SMS’s, at least 25-30% will be advertisements.
According to analysts, the advertising spend expected on mobiles is likely to hit USD 11 bn by 2011. The new S in SMS is an embedded search function, allowing users to conduct a search as they would on the internet via search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft. But instead of launching a web-browser, users merely have to access an enhanced options menu and select the search function.
Affle is in talks with various online search engines to power its mobile search on SMS 2.0. Affle also links to other customizable search services like dictionary, movies, wikipedia and others.
“Existing mobile phone media are merely a replication of online media. They require consumers to actively access, via a GPRS connection, made-for-mobile content thats really just watered down online content that they pay for. SMS2.0 is free and it is purpose-designed for mobile phones,” says Khanna. That means content will be an almost perfect fit for the mobile screen and navigation from page to page will be near seamless.
SMS 2.0 has already found interest amongst brandname advertisers and content producers. Despite average advertising costs at 60% to 80% more than regular online advertising, brands such as the Procter & Gamble group and Coca-Cola see the benefits of reaching highly-targeted groups of consumers that choose to receive such advertising.
But promotions are just one element of SMS 2.0. Affle has partnered with an all-star list of international content producers including Times Internet in India and Singapore Press Holdings to bring quality local content to users.
Nokia is currently the only mobile phone brand that is compatible with the new text message platform, Affle is in discussions with other major brands to make it universal.