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.”
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.
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.