Useless Services: Airtel SMS 2.0 — What A Total Crap Of An App

by Vinaya HS on January 1, 2008

in Business & Management

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Says the Airtel marketing department:

Trends indicate that youth and young professionals are more active users of messaging. SMS 2.0 represents a huge opportunity for Airtel to differentiate itself, and further gain both mind-share and market-share in these segments.

So what exactly is the “value added crap” you get in this endeavor to gain mind-share and market-share? It’s a long list. My comments in [ ].

  • SMS 2.0 is unique in that it converges messaging, content, and contextual advertising into one seamless application that resides as the default SMS application on the customer’s mobile handset. [You can now get all the crap in one place. Wow!]

  • SMS 2.0 also serves free content to users, contextual to their areas of interest. The content is served in the form of teasers on the Message Compose/Read window and a Full Screen that appears along with the Message Sent/Sending Window. [Crap with window dressing. Wow!]

  • SMS 2.0′s message personalization options include additional features like composing and sending messages with a variety of text, background colors, and emoticons. [I can now irritate message recipients in myriad ways. Wow! Caller tunes anyone?]

  • The content experience is driven around leveraging SMS, and delivering user-relevant content such as news, jokes, movie updates, cricket, astrology, etc — all seamlessly integrated into the messaging experience. [My intelligence is being insulted. Wow!]

  • Available as a “free upgrade” to the regular SMS application, Airtel subscribers can download SMS 2.0 by sending “SMS2″ to 543210. There are no charges for downloading the new application or for subsequent content delivery on this platform. [Sign-up if you're brave enough.]

Finally, a couple of user comments I found about SMS 2.0:

This sounds like a total crap of an app. Airtel would do well to focus instead on improving their network quality instead of boneheaded apps like this.

I fear this is a new way to bombard us with intrusive pop-up spam advertising messages.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anoop January 2, 2008 at 7:11 AM

Haha..This is amazing, enjoy such useless services in Bangalore, where as here I have just a 20$ per month subscription, which gives me 100 mins free talktime/month and 15Cents per minute for phone calls made. 150 free sms whether I send locally or globally..:-)..No such value added craps, totally worth it spending 20$ on subscription. There are days when my Phone bill dosen’t even go above 35$/month..Very cheap in a foreign country..:),where as I guess you guys are paying heavily for all the value added crap services provided by airtel. Last time when I was in Bangalore, airtel messed up my Auto roam services by sending some lame messages & I had to cough up a lot of roaming charges for each sms rec’d from them :x. This time Ive learnt my lesson and will be careful when I invest upon auto roam services.

Sachin January 2, 2008 at 11:37 AM

It’s an Ecosystem of collaborative [dys]functioning.

This is a true imagery of Airtel and its services. Recently Vodafone was unable to deliver the basic services of Calls for over an hour in Mumbai and they didn’t let customers know about it in advance as well as they didn’t apologise for this mistake. Read more here…

Probably, Vodafone might be interested in the Airtel’s SMS2.0 services so that they can reach their customers with all the messages and media in one Go. –>My personal Blog.

Cheers :)

Jeeboy January 3, 2008 at 9:45 PM

dude.. there is no pointing in moaning uselessly.. . i think you are a user of a provider other than airtela and are not able to digest the fact that only airtel is offering this service now… chill dude.. other providers will be starting it soon..

Vinaya HS January 3, 2008 at 10:45 PM

@Jeeboy: I am an Airtel subscriber. :-)

Curious_Bypasser January 8, 2008 at 2:39 PM

Can somebody atleast tell me what this “crap app” actually is? And why this whole fuss about it? All I have gathered is that it’s some way of getting content in SMS and adding colour, but what is it exactly? And if Mr. Vinaya HS is so pissed about it, the least he could have done is let other user evaluate it objectively by giving some link or screenshots, instead of going on ranting about it and taking the effort of adding wow! after every two lines.

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