CNET News.com looks at the desire people have to purchase things with their thumbs.
Ads for the new CD by singer Tim McGraw carry a texting code, as do magazine writeups for the new Harry Potter novel coming this summer. Some concert halls are selling tickets by text message, and some charities are taking donations that way. CosmoGirl magazine will feature text-message codes throughout its June/July issue, both in the advertising and editorial pages. And Stuff magazine is introducing text-to-buy on products like CDs, DVDs and video games featured in its pages.
At the center of the technology is ShopText, a small company in New York that takes the orders, charges the consumer’s credit card and ships out the merchandise. ShopText was started in 2005 within Anomaly, an ad agency in New York, and worked at first with the PayPal unit of eBay to build text-message shopping tools. In November, ShopText was spun off as its own company, and since then it has been busy trying to persuade media outlets and marketers that mobile phone shopping, or m-commerce, stands to become as lucrative as e-commerce.
About 35 percent of cell phone users send or receive text messages, according to Forrester Research, but texting is even more popular among young people, with 76 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds taking part.