Google India Launches SMS Channel Service

Google India has launched SMS channels service that enables users to create their own sms channel or simply receive sms updates from google groups/news and even blog feeds.

“Google SMS Channels is a free service that enables you to get premium content published by Google partners and websites with RSS/Atom support for free.

SMS Channels allows you to create your own channel(s) to publish content that other users can subscribe to.”

Google SMS Channels
Google SMS Channels

Unlike smsgupshup (which, incidentally powers pluGGd.in’s feed-to-sms service), Google’s SMS channel is two-way and enables a discussion enabling subscribers to publish to the channel (an optional feature).

Why it feels half baked?

Because Zook is doing a far better job – they recently launched an alert service that enables one to track deals/movie updates (for instance, receive updates only for English movies playing at PVR @ Forum Mall, or track nokia deals in Bangalore etc..) and whole lot of other content like events, weather, traffic updates, cricket news/scores, etc.

Similarly, MyToday (sends 12 million SMS everyday) offers customized channels like astrology/cricket/news etc which are far richer in content and aren’t just reading feeds.

Having said that, Google’s SMS channel works great for publishers – they get a newer hook to keep users engaged, which none of the other services are offering.

The weird part about a generic service like this is that they may not get the community love (and very soon lose relevance).
Let’s look at it this way – Google’s SMS Channels will compete with Vakow, MyToday and SMSGupshup etc – all of these services have ‘initial mover advantage’ and serve specific intents, while Google’s SMS service looks more like a PoC.

I am not too sure whether Google’s SMS service will go beyond the geeky users/bloggers (and will ever reach mainstream).

Whats your take on Google’s SMS Channel service?

By the way, here goes pluGGd.in channel – subscribe to receive feed updates.

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