Expands Mobile Search Options
expanded the search possibilities for users on the go,
with its launch of Yahoo SMS Search and enhanced Search
Yahoo short message service (SMS) Search users can send
a text message that includes the shortcut term and a
parameter such as a zip code, address or ticker symbol.
Available shortcuts are: local information, WiFi hotspot
finder, weather, stock quotes, daily horoscopes, dictionary
definitions, and zip and area code lookup. They'll receive
a text message with the results in reply. The SMS response
from will include a URL linking to Yahoo's mobile Internet
search if more information is needed.
At the same time, Yahoo Search on Mobile was expanded
to include WAP 2.0 phones. Wireless application protocol
(WAP) is a specification for accessing and displaying
information on handheld devices. Previously, Yahoo's
mobile Web search worked only on HTML-enabled handsets.
Users must browse to Yahoo's mobile portal in order
to use the search.
Both services give mobile device users shortcuts, minimizing
the time they spend inputting text and clicking on links.
The launch follows Yahoo Japan's start of Yahoo Shopping
from mobile phones, offering around two million items
available for m-commerce.
"In most of Asia and Europe, people are further
along in how they use phones, and it makes sense to
offer a fully functioning mobile commerce opportunity
in Asia," said Rob Solomon, vice president and
general manager of Yahoo Shopping. "Eventually,
it will make sense in this market. This clipping service
is just our first foray."
In January, Yahoo launched its Send to Phone service,
letting users deliver information from the Web to their
mobile phones. The feature is available for Yahoo Local,
Yahoo Maps and Yahoo Shopping.
Solomon said that while e-commerce is increasing, most
shopping still happens in retail stores, so connecting
store-bound shoppers with Internet information makes
"We know people do a ton of research online, and
we want to make it easer to take it with them,"
he said. "You used to have to print [out your search
results]." Now, users can send info to their phones
to take along on the shopping expedition, and get more
information via SMS or mobile search.
In the future, Solomon said, Yahoo could add aggregated
anonymous information about product info that was sent
to phones to help quantify what he called the "halo
effect" of online advertising, that is, the phenomenon
of consumers doing research online and seeing retailers
ads, then completing purchases offline.
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