Users can text Dotgo’s shortcode, or a special phone number designed to facilitate SMS messages, at 368266 (which is ‘DOTCOM’ on a phone keypad) and the name of whatever service they’re interested in like ‘GOOGLE’ or ‘WEATHER’. In return, they’ll receive a text message with a feed of information back.
For example, you can text ‘GASBUDDY’ and your zip code to Dotgo’s phone number 368266 and get a list of nearby gas stations and prices back within a minute or so. Users can also opt-in to receive a regular stream of text messages from a content provider about stock prices, for example. It’s free to users (on top of the regular text messaging charges from your carrier). It’s also free to publishers, who might want a cheaper alternative to setting up their own shortcode, which could run around $2,000 a month.
Dotgo says it will earn money by selling premium services involving analytics and debugging tools along with advertising. With smartphones gaining steam in developed countries, Dotgo might have better legs in the developing world.
The service is a project from Scientific Media, a New York-based venture that has been funded through friends and family and received more than $700,000 in National Science Foundation grants.
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