An Afterthought: in the mobile industry, the term ‘application’ usually refers to a software that is hosted on the mobile handset, not ‘services’ available on an SMS short code. Else, one would probably refer to an operator on-deck portal, which lists and links to various services, as an app store. No, I think AppShup is about services, not mobile apps. Just a technicality, though.

Earlier (March 4th): Apart from the name, I’m not sure of what’s new about AppShup, a platform for developers to create and deploy SMS applications. SMS GupShup had opened up its API for SMS based services last year. In September, CEO Beerud Sheth had spoken with MediaNama about the trends since opening up of the API, saying that it’s an opportunity for “Mass VAS” (I quite like that phrase), because of the ease with which services can be launched. Currently, AppShup is integrated with the Indian carriers only, but GupShup is trying to enable it in multiple countries.

The release also claims that there are 100 applications, but when we checked, there were only 24, the same as in September. The monetization of the applications takes place when the user who responds (for example, while playing a game of tic tac toe) uses a premium SMS code.  The revenue share that Sheth had mentioned to us earlier was 50 percent. We’ve asked GupShup for clarifications on changes, and will update with responses.

Do read our detailed two part interview with SMS GupShup CEO Beerud Sheth:
Part 1: SMS GupShup: On Revenue Streams, Users, DNC, Google SMS
Part 2: SMS GupShup: On Twitter, Carriers, Interconnect, Short Codes, API, Classifieds, M-Payments

GupShup is taking the route which several VAS companies are taking in India – they’re enabling easy access to the consumer for developers. This is, in fact, smoother than something like the OnMobile Developer Network, because there is unlikely to be a carrier approval process. According to the company, all one needs is a basic knowledge of any programming language, understanding of web applications and familiarity with JSON and XML; apps can be connected with websites and blogs, and the developers GupShup stream can be modified. Since one is going through SMS, there is no cumbersome carrier approval process. To promote adoption, they’re offering a $5000 cash prize for the most innovate apps sublitted to AppShup. Ideas, anyone?

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