Indiatimes Partners With Shorthand To Launch SMS Browser

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Debut of Indiatimes SMS Browser delivers the Best of Indiatimes to Millions of Mobile Users Without requiring GPRS Data

Indiatimes launches its Insta SMS Browser http://mobile.indiatimes.com/instasms today. This revolutionary SMS-based mobile browser, powered by Shorthand Mobile, delivers seamless access to a wide array of compelling Indiatimes’ SMS content and services via a rich, interactive and graphical interface.

Users can simply scroll-and-click to view their favourite Indiatimes content without having to enter or remember keywords or short codes. The Indiatimes’ Insta SMS Browser leverages the ubiquitous SMS channel to serve nearly all Indians on India’s most popular short code - 58888.

To download the SMS Browser, customers in India can either navigate to http://mobile.indiatimes.com/instasms or send an SMS with the text BROWSER to 58888 (SMS cost Rs.3).

“There are around 575 million active mobile subscribers in India and most of them are still using low end or feature phones. Indiatimes’ Insta SMS Browser is positioned to cater to such users and provide them easy access to content in an interactive manner without the need of GPRS data plans. We are working with OEMs to have Insta SMS pre-embedded in handsets so that users can easily discover and use the app” said Ajay Vaishnavi, Director, Telecom, Times Internet Limited.

Launching across all telecom operators in India, the Indiatimes’ SMS Browser provides fun, easy-to-use SMS Apps including Astro Zone, Bollywood, City Zone (local search), Contest Zone, Cricket, Dating Chat, Deals and Discounts, Devotion Zone, Facebook, Fun Zone, Love and Friends Zone, News Zone, Subscriptions, and many more.

If users wish, they can also add Facebook, Orkut and other SMS Apps to the browser. The SMS Apps enable over 100 distinct informational and transactional requests.

Using Shorthand Mobile’s flexible SMS Browser platform and SMS App creation tools, Shorthand and Indiatimes were able to quickly and cost effectively create this browser with SMS Apps, and integrate it with the existing SMS content. The SMS Browser is easy to use, provides greater discovery and enables the users to interact with Indiatimes’ premium VAS content. No other application platform makes it possible to deliver such diverse range of content, using SMS, to the vast majority of Indian subscribers.

John McDonough, CEO and founder of Shorthand Mobile states, “Shorthand is excited to enable compelling SMS content backed by one of India’s strongest brands. The Indiatimes’ Insta SMS Browser aggregates great content for users in one user friendly application. Shorthand’s proprietary technology enabled us to quickly build and deploy a branded platform for Indiatimes which met Indiatimes’ aggressive launch timelines.”

The Indiatimes’ Insta SMS Browser is free-of-charge and is now available for download. Only a one-time download is required, thereafter, it uses SMS to communicate.

About Shorthand Mobile, Inc:
Shorthand Mobile offers the world's first SMS-based browser with SMS-based apps. Shorthand's SMS Apps utilize SMS text messages to deliver a rich, interactive mobile app experience for customers worldwide without using data. SMS Apps provide users access to popular and valuable content covering a diverse range of content, including social media, local search, entertainment, news, sports, purchases and more, on the phones they already own and using the operator plans they already pay for. Shorthand’s proprietary tools enable partners to launch SMS Apps quickly and cost efficiently. Because they use SMS, SMS Apps are the best way for content providers and websites to reach the largest possible worldwide mobile market.

About Times Internet Limited:
Times Internet Limited (TIL) is the Internet and Mobile venture of India’s largest media house – the Times Group. One of the most respected business houses in India, the 168-year-old group is a market driver across all media platforms. Indiatimes.com, the flagship brand of Times Internet Ltd., is the most popular internet and mobile value added services destination for Indians across the globe. Times Internet Network generates over 400 million pageviews per month through their flagship portal Indiatimes.com. In the mobile space, Indiatimes 58888 is the largest direct-to-consumer SMS and IVR shortcode, accessed by over 50 million consumers across all telecom operators in India. 58888 offers VAS services such as news, bollywood gossip, cricket scores, astro information, and a host of other fun, easy-to-use mobile applications.

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