Vavia Technologies claims that its SMS-based search engine txtBrowser has crossed 300 million queries to date. Of this, 200 million queries are from India.
txtBrowser lets you search online using an SMS from any phone. This service was launched by the company in partnership with Spice Digital* as a Value Added Service (VAS). It can be accessed on the short code 55444 on Airtel, 55577 on Idea and 56300 on others. The company mentions that the service is available across most operators in India, Middle East and South East Asia. The service is available in two different packs – Re 1 daily and Rs 30 per month. Alternatively, its available at Rs 1.50 paise per SMS.
The company claims to have 4 million unique users globally and 500 developers on its service. In response to a query by Medianama, txtBrowser mentions that Sports, entertainment, chat, cricket, news, celebrities, jokes, astrology, weather updates, local addresses and directions are the categories which witnessed the maximum number of queries.
However, due to the entire state of VAS ecosystem in India, we are not sure about the longevity of such a SMS based service in the country, especially considering the growth of smart phones and popularity of messaging services like WhatsApp.
Corrigendum: Earlier version of the post had several factual errors. We apologize for the error and have updated the article with corrections.
*Disclosure: Spice Digital is an advertiser with MediaNama.