Americans send billions of text messages every year. Each year, the number of texts sent via US carriers increase. In Europe, Asia and Africa mobile users have been texting for years and commercial applications for texting have been commonplace for sometime now. This is not the case in America. The cell phone which is always on and always close by is something that is private and not to be used for a commercial application. Afterall, the US is the country with the no-call list and candidates have campaigned on fighting solicitors who disrupt family dinners with offers for products.
The privacy of the mobile device is waining as marketers are looking for new ways to reach out to a public that is turning off the television, listening to ipods over radio and shunning print for electronic and alternative media. At the same time mobile users are looking for ways to reach out to learn more about products, earn free stuff, sign petitions and donate to causes using their handheld.
The Washington Post ran a story this weekend featuring Presidential campaigns that are using text messaging to reach potential voters. Tim Chambers of Media 50 Group is quoted in the story, the interlinked media short code is used for Hillary Clinton’s campaign and my favorite use of texting was John Edwards’ campaign text I received from twitter.
The campaign sent a message to its “friends” on twitter asking them to text another number and donate via text to the campaign.
If you read the WaPo story, you might see an ad for their new texting service…just text POLITICS to know to WPOST (97678).