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Yahoo Now Offering SMS Search Tool; Expands Reach of Mobile Web Search

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A new Yahoo SMS Search service is now available, allowing searchers in the US to get back certain types of information from Yahoo via text messages. In addition, Yahoo has expanded its web search service designed for mobile users to work with WAP-compatible browsers.

Running an Yahoo SMS search is easy. Simply send a text message to Y-A-H-O-O (92466) and enter the required shortcut. For example, to get a local weather report, message 92466

weather [Zip Code]
-or-
weather [City, State].

such as

weather 92663
-or-
weather newport beach, CA

Actually, you don't even need to enter the word "weather" to access a local forecast. Simply typing the letter "w" and a location will work, such as:

w 92663
-or-
w newport beach, CA

Here's a list of the shortcuts Yahoo is currently offering with their new text message service:

  • Local Listings from Yahoo Local
     
  • Weather
     
  • Stock Quotes
     
  • Word Definitions
     
  • Horoscopes
     
  • Area Codes
     
  • Zip Codes
     
  • Wi-Fi Hotspots

Yahoo SMS Search also allows users to respond to text messages replies from Yahoo to receive updated information.

For example, you send a text message to Yahoo asking for a stock quote. Twenty minutes later you want to get an updated quote. Instead of sending a new text message to Yahoo, you can simply respond to the first message.

Yahoo SMS Search also will embed useful URLs into some text messages. Simply click, and assuming you have mobile web access, a web browser will open with more info. For example, a stock quote might also include a link to a complete stock chart.

To see a complete list of shortcuts, send a text message to 92466 with "help" in the body of the message or visit this web page. At launch, the service is available to Cingular, Sprint and Verizon users.

Yahoo joins Yahoo joins Google, 4info.net, UpSnap, Synfonic and Smarter.com in providing some SMS search services.

A SMS-based version of Yahoo Messenger is also available. Check the Yahoo Mobile site for more details on this.

Aside from SMS search, Yahoo is also making Yahoo's regular web search service more accessible to mobile users. Previously, Yahoo web search could only be accessed by those with mobile devices that had HTML browsers. Now, WAP 2.0 (XHTML) capable can access the service.

Simply visit the mobile.yahoo.com site using your phone, and a specially optimized version for mobile devices should appear. By the way, the same Yahoo Shortcuts that work with Yahoo SMS Search are also available with Yahoo's mobile web search service. They've been online since late 2004.

FYI, if you want to see that service from a non-mobile device, you can try it here.

Finally, we mentioned when covering Google's new index of mobile web pages that Yahoo was developing its own mobile web index and taking submissions here. That index is not part of the new launch, Yahoo says, and there's still no timeline on when it will go live.


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