Enables Developers, Content Owners, and Individuals to Mobilize and Monetize Information
PALO ALTO, Calif. and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 25 -- 4INFO, Inc., the leading mobile search service, announced today from the DEMOfall conference the launch of its mobile Open Platform(TM). Open Platform is built for any company or content owner seeking an easy, free way to build a mobile service. A first for the mobile industry, Open Platform allows developers, content owners, and individuals to leverage 4INFO's search infrastructure to make information and applications of their choosing accessible on 4INFO's SMS and WAP search platform by anyone with a cell phone. 4INFO will be demonstrating the new mobile Open Platform at the renowned DEMOfall conference taking place in San Diego, CA. Learn more about the Open Platform at http://open.4info.net/.
Open Platform features the ability to designate content as searchable, create text alerts for updated news, offer menu-driven information, and more. This search or alerts service can either be an extension of online content or a brand new application. Developers, content owners, and even individuals can integrate with the Open Platform using open standards such as RSS or XML feeds to avoid the cost and time required to build a proprietary mobile delivery platform. Open Platform delivers all the benefits of 4INFO's infrastructure, including the administrative features, interactivity, alerts, and personalization, minus the hassle of dealing with billing, subscriber management, and setting up a shortcode.
"People use blogs and Web sites to get information, but they can't be in front of their computers constantly. Giving them access to the same information on their cell phones that they could previously only get online is incredibly valuable," said Chris Shipley, executive producer of DEMOfall. "4INFO's platform provides this value free to anyone with a data feed."
"Building a mobile platform is complicated and costly. With Open Platform, 4INFO has removed the barrier for companies and individuals who have a pressing need to make their content mobile, but who can't afford to build it themselves," said Zaw Thet, CEO of 4INFO. "Making it easy to use the Open Platform with standard web services will extend the breadth of 4INFO's already robust mobile search and alert service, making 4INFO even more valuable to our users and the mobile community."
DEVELOPERS AND CONTENT OWNERS
Creating a new service on 4INFO's Open Platform begins with the selection of a unique keyword for an information source. This keyword is the term that is sent to 4INFO via text message or a mobile web browser when a user is searching for information. Developers and content owners can publish and distribute this keyword as they wish. There are currently four ways for content owners to provide access to information:
o Menu-driven Static Information: When users send in your keyword, they receive text information or a numbered list of items in return. They then reply with a list number to receive additional information on the chosen topic. Organizations can use this method to allow user-driven access to multiple static data points, like contact information, directions, event schedules, ticket information, and promotional opportunities, to name a few.
o RSS News Feed & Alerts: When users send in a keyword, they receive the title and a brief summary of the most recent feed update. Users can subscribe to a text alert service that will deliver the latest post when the feed changes. Feed owners with a few topics or categories and a high frequency of posts benefit most from this method.
o Advanced RSS: Users can send in a keyword plus a search term to focus the result message. Search terms can be used to specify a location, a news topic, or a certain word within your searchable information. This service best suits content sites that post with high volume and would like to let their readers set alerts or search for words that come up within the feed itself.
o XML Application: For more complex services, a user's query can include a search term that is passed to a web application that returns XML. This allows users to search for information that is typically only available online or notified when something in their account changes, such as receiving a new message.
Key benefits for developers and content owners include:
o Mobile Ubiquity -- Keywords and services will work on both text messaging (44636 shortcode) or on a mobile browser (http://mobile.4info.net/)
o Infrastructure -- No need to build a delivery platform that includes alerts, menus, user administration from phone, personalization, and more o Shortcode -- No need to spend the time and money to provision a new shortcode
o Text message cost -- No additional message cost by using 4INFO
o Revenue opportunities -- SMS advertising and subscription billing to end users
o Data mining -- Instant information about user behavior
o Ease of promotion -- Use keyword in online and offline marketing to promote the service
INDIVIDUALS: 4INFO Gives Consumers Choice and Control
Open Platform allows users to create custom text message alerts for any RSS feed that they frequently watch. These feeds can include favorite blogs, shopping or auction items being watched, local traffic alerts, and more. Creating an alert is simply a matter of locating the relevant RSS feed and plugging it into the Open Platform set up process. 4INFO has automated the alert set up process for several popular feeds, requiring a user to simply enter desired keyword triggers for CNET, craigslist, del.icio.us, Digg, ESPN, Google News, Upcoming.org, and Yahoo! (Classifieds, Jobs, and News). These can be set up at http://alerts.4info.net/
4INFO keeps people in the know, while on the go; enhancing the utility of mobile phones by providing the means to search, discover, and receive relevant information and content. 4INFO's comprehensive suite of mobile services (Text Message Search to 44636, Mobile Web Search at mobile.4info.net/ , Text Alerts, a downloadable Mobile Application, and the Open Platform) provides access to business listings, sports scores, fantasy sports stats, weather, flight information, movie times, horoscopes, hotspot locations, news, stock quotes, hotel reservations, package tracking, mobile downloads, and more. Most services are available free of charge to users on all major U.S. carriers. 4INFO is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. 4INFO's primary investors include US Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Gannett Company, Inc.
CONTACT: Jennifer Colton, +1-415-420-5516, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Christopher Downing, +1-415-260-7341, or email@example.com, both for 4INFO, Inc.