Webaroo’s SMSGupshup – sneek peek into their new offerings (free sms/group sms from their website)

Webaroo’s SMSGupshup is coming up with a major overhaul to their website (www.smsgupshup.com) and I was the first one to get a sneek peek of their new offering.
The new features will allow one to form groups around areas of interest, and give the users an ability to reach out to all group members for free over SMS (all thru’ their website)
The service will be subsidized by advertising in a part of the SMS characters.

Here is a quick summary of their new offering:

  • Advertising has been spam over SMS (read our earlier post on permission marketing). Gupshup guys plan to break this by serving targeted and contextual ads as a part of the SMS and claim no extra SMSes.
  • The new website and UI would allow users to send SMSes for free using the Internet – and that means head-on fight with 160by2.com and way2sms.com.
  • It allows you to invite friends to your group and reach out over SMS – all through the website.
  • In order to control the spam, smsgupshup mandates one to validate their own number,before they start sending SMSes.
  • You can see on their old site today that they have a variety of groups on topics ranging from stocks (Sharekhan, ICICI etc) to Cricket updates – should give content providers like mytoday a run for their money.

Here are a few feature requests for webaroo team:

  • Getting Feeds from blogs sent to mobile devices (all via SMS, no wap please!)
  • More variety in groups – right now its one to many. I am sure there are many groups which just want to chat (think of activemobs)
  • Importing contacts from other social networking sites / phonebook
  • Advanced controls like posting through chat, widgets to have my sms group messages posted in my blog

Related: Interview with Akshat, cofounder ActiveMobs

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