Blog Post

Thumbplay Launches Text-Based Search For Mobile Content

You’ve heard of conducting mobile searches by text message, such as sending “pizza 98112” to GOOGL to find out the nearest restaurant in Seattle. Well, Thumbplay, the seller of ringtones, graphics, games and other mobile content, has launched its own version, too. Called GET, a user sends a text to “48000” with a message like “get Usher,” and within seconds, Thumbplay returns a link to related content — in this case, Usher ringtones. It’s pretty easy because it works on every phone (as long as it has Web-access to retrieve the links) and doesn’t require browsing many layers of slow-loading WAP sites. Although Thumbplay announced the beta search product at CTIA, it was definitely lost in the shuffle until MediaPost’s SearchInsider detailed Thumbplay’s strategy in a story. It also goes in-depth into the wide range of mobile search types, such as on-deck, off-deck, applications and voice. The announcement was also picked up today by Alt Search Engines, which mentions that a number of companies are considering a text-search-based approach. Of the various search types, this could be an easy way for people to navigate the tons of information available on the phone, but it’s going to take a critical mass. If consumers knew a handful of shortcodes, where they retrieve information, mobile content or other responses, the search method would likely be more popular than it is today. It will take more than Google (NSDQ: GOOG) and Thumbplay to make the approach mainstream, but it’s a good start.

3 Responses to “Thumbplay Launches Text-Based Search For Mobile Content”

  1. Wow – this is big news, in 2004. 4info has raised money from Peacock, Gannett, USVP, DFJ (the first two are not exactly cutting edge) and have been on the front page of the USA Today Sports for 2 years. Yahoo has also been playing in this space for quite sometime. Hard to imagine what Thumbplay is doing that is different or better.