USA Today gets SMS savvy

Oct 07 2005 - 02:40 PM ET | SMS

USA Today, the nation's largest newspaper, has recently added a couple of SMS enabled features to its paper based product. The first is a poll feature that's part of a partnership with Dwango Wireless and has been advertised with large ads every day. Readers beware though, this feature uses premium SMS messages and each vote in a poll will cost 50 cents. Voters are also put into the running for various prizes.

The second feature is an early stage partnership with a company called 4Info. 4Info is all about mobile search and can send results through SMS. Just send a request to the short code 44636 and in a few seconds you'll get data back. In USA Today both the sports and weather pages feature a little box instructing readers to get more information via SMS. The box doesn't mention 4Info by name, but does give the short code.

You can get a full list of what data is provided by 4Info from their website, it's a fairly far ranging set. MobileTracker talked with 4Info to confirm that the deal with USA Today was not a paid ad, and we also asked how the company plans on making money (the service is completly free). The answer? Contextual advertising, premium content and media downloads. The company is backed by US Venture Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.