(With inputs from Nikhil Pahwa)

Affle has integrated bookmarking and calendar options with its application SMS2.0: users can now add advertiser details to contacts, event/TV show details to calendar, automatically setting a reminder, and also bookmark links to advertisements to their WAP bookmarks.

In the past, we’ve mentioned how Affle, which claims to have a subscriber base of over 1 million for its SMS 2.0 application, can offer new products and services to its users with just an upgrade. The power of being the default SMS app on a handset cannot be overstated. Affle has partnerships with Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular, and Microsoft owns almost 20 percent in the company.

Will users bookmark advertisements?

Although the options add permanency and brand recall, the issue here is that users do not necessarily have a tendency bookmark advertisements, or save content. Affle should consider running some ads on its own platforms, explaining to users how to use the application, and also offer certain content – for example, event listings – to encourage using the feature. Users will bookmark what is relevant to them, but the advertisements themselves need to encourage using this feature.

Premium Pricing: Not Moving To CPA Model

We asked the company about whether they’re switching to a CPA (cost per action) model, and away from their CPM model given the downturn in advertising. Anuj Kumar, Executive Director (South Asia) for Affle informs us that the 3 features introduced will be at a significant premium to regular SMS2.0 advertisements. the current quarter, claims Kumar, has been one of their best ever: “Topical campaigns with the IPL and elections also contributed to the company’s business.” Affle’s top advertisers are primarily from FMCG, Automobile, IT & Consumer Electronics and Telecom sectors, and the company claims to serve over 125 million impressions per month in India, and the majority of SMS2.0 usage is from Airtel users.

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