92facebookFacebook has added more features to Facebook Texts on the longcode 92FACEBOOK or 9232232665 – it now allows users to become a fan of a page and subscribe to SMS alerts from pages/communities, reports Digital Inspiration. This would have been an enticing service for businesses and publishers to increase their interactions with consumers, except for a small process flaw in content discovery. (Note: we’ve just set up our Facebook page here)

Facebook Texts, launched in partnership with SMSGupshup as we had reported in July, was very user centric till date – users could receive and send comments, update status messages, search, poke, add a friend and write a note etc through text messages to 9232232665. It offers this on a separate shortcode 51555 for Tata Indicom subscribers. By adding SMS alerts to Facebook Texts, it has given a boost to B2C reach via social media.

Negative For Content Discovery

pagesmssubscribe

Users need to first be a fan of the page before subscribing to the alerts. Then the option “Subscribe via SMS” is now available on the page/community – see the bottom left corner on the screenshot above. Here’s the deal breaker – if a user wants to become a fan of the page or community, she will need to know the exact name of the page. Medianama, medianama and MediaNama were returned as “not a recognized Facebook Page”. There seems to be some trouble with the SMS integration with Facebook. Pizzahut worked, but an SMS to add my friend as a fan of Fabindia, or Zapak, for example, did not generate a response. An interactive SMS system that offers suggestions would have solved this issue. Once you are a fan, you automatically get signed in for updates.

Trust Factor

Facebook Texts is similar to SMS Channels by Google or MyToday or Way2SMS‘s services, which are used by publishers and website owners to push updates on their blogs or news alerts to mobile users. Facebook’s advantage is a trust factor associated with it – rather than signing up to a new service, users will be more open to SMSs pushed by their social networking site. Facebook has taken care to offer numerous management options – users can choose the timings, daily limit, if a confirmation message should be sent, and if they want their mobile number on or off their profile. To turn off Facebook Texts, mobile users need to SMS stop to the same longcode.

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