TextMarks will announce a new product tomorrow that allows publishers to charge people to receive breaking news and other information via text messages. It’s available now under a new ‘monetizeÃ¢â‚¬Â tab on the home page of the site.
To use this, a publisher signs up for a TextMarks account and chooses a price to subscribers (either $4.99 or $9.99 per month). Readers subscribe to the alerts via a Flash widget that’s embedded on a website or by sending a text message to 41411 plus a unique keyword, confirm the subscription on their cell phone, and then receive the alerts. The service is currently only available to U.S. cell phone users , using Cingular, Verizon, Sprint or Alltel services. Publishers decide what news is important enough to send out as SMS alerts. Up to 100 alerts can be sent per month to subscribers.
More information is available at textmarks.com.
I reckon this is a rather smart service offering, although it’s going to have to be pretty hot information for me to want to hand over a wad of cash to receive updates that I could quite possibly get via my handset’s RSS file.
But for when you really, really, really need to know… totally.
For the Hollywood Gossip sites, yes. For market commentary, yeah — but for SMS Text News? I don’t know…