Found an interesting web page and want to share the details via SMS? Try Textme, a nifty application that enables you to send text/images/video/links etc from the web to any phone (and for free). All you need to do is to install the browser plugin and you’d be able to share a URL/page via SMS.
The product is beautifully designed and well thought-through (for instance, login/registration is part of the product workflow, the right-click menu is designed keeping sharing context in mind) and the product use-case varies from sharing local search information to your ticket booking details to anything you want to share quickly.
In short, simple sharing packed with great user experience. And as of writing this article, there have been 4,612,016 messages sent using the service and just like other sharing plugin, Textme too has an offering for publishers – i.e. a ‘share’ button which publishers can add on their website and will enable website visitors to share the page via SMS.
Watch this introductory video that explains the concept
Here is a QnA with Dayson Pais, founder of EpicWhale, the company behind Textme
Given that there has been a huge activity on the product, would you mind sharing the typical use-case, which people have used the product for? I’d assume that mostly it revolved around, say local search info, utility info etc? And what are the use-cases, you are running after (as far as product messaging etc is concerned)?
With this new release, Textme can be used on every website. And users have started doing so. The most typical use-cases have been sharing local search info, utility info, articles, jokes, gossip, wallpapers for the phone. We also find users sharing stock quotes from moneycontrol, booking details from IRCTC & Cleartrip, property listings from 99acres, status updates from fb & twitter. In addition, we’re also trying to run after use-cases like sharing a Facebook image or a Youtube video. Lately, users are sharing IPL scores too.
2. A product like this, probably needs supporting ecosystem (like publishers etc). How do you plan to build one?
If you’re talking about our publisher button (http://ontextme.com/publisher), it’s always difficult to convince big publishing houses of change, even a small one like using Textme on their website. You’ve to hard-sell everything in India. Our immediate focus is on bringing in large volumes to the consumer product (the one we just launched). Along side, we’ll be slowly pushing the publisher button onto websites and just like the other sharing buttons, publishers should pick it up themselves when they start noticing it. Luckily, the service is really unique too and has a very strong use case. We also provide in-depth analytics to publishers which allows them to track their most popular mobile content and also bring back traffic to their mobile site. We will be actively pursuing this soon and we already have a handful of early adopters.
4. What are your thoughts around SMS and content consumption trend? Will SMS be used for content creation (Twitter/G+ integrations) more than consumption?
This is a mobile crazy country. Even though most of the content is being created online, content consumption on mobile is a growing trend; be it SMS or through push-based apps. SMS is simple, ubiqutous and it just works. A lot of people are still hopping onto this medium than moving away from it. Though, I don’t think it’s a great medium for content creation. Mobile apps are going to lead the creation story.
5. Hasn’t TRAI regulation impacted the SMS business?
It did impact and derail our plans for a few months. We were really disappointed with the regulations and the way they went about it. Now, we’re back and honestly it feels like we’ve entered a cleaned up ecosystem. We’re fully TRAI compliant and don’t use any workarounds. Our model requires a user to explicitly opt-in to our services and he/she can opt-out at any point.
5. Future plans?
Our immediate focus is on spreading awareness of the various use-cases & bringing in large volumes into Textme. Once this picks up, our focus is going to be on enhancing the content viewing experience on a mobile. Alongside, we want to explore other mechanisms of pushing information on to a mobile (and not limiting ourselves to SMS). There’s a lot more we want to do to improve the experience on both – your browser & mobile. We need a lot more traction to pick a direction.
A lot of activity on the site was done pre-TRAI regulation and now with user registration made mandatory, the challenge for Textme team is to increase engagement.
Do give Textme a spin and share your suggestion/feedback with the team.
Also see: Textme Discussion @Pluggd.in forum, Everything that goes into building a great PR campaign for your web startup