Faster, Telus! Faster!

See those small letters on Telus' new Fastap mobile phone? Those just might be the saviour of text

See those small letters on Telus’ new Fastap mobile phone? Those just might be the saviour of text

messaging in North America. No more entering weird combinations. Just hit the letters themselves. Life just got easier.

The key benefit to marketers could be that Fastap will lead to more text messaging campaigns. Because the system is easier to use than shortcodes are, marketers may boost targeting other demos besides youth. Scott Rogers, VP marketing of Toronto-based online dating service Lemontonic, says Fastap is just the sort of technology that could see widespread use at the company that targets

25- to 45-year-olds. He should know as Lemontonic is the first dating service to be based on Microsoft’s real time communications service.

‘This kind of phone is of high interest to us because it is more intuitive for a demographic that’s a little bit older and didn’t grow up with SMS,’ he says.

Simon Crowther, managing director of youth marketing firm alias marketing in Vancouver, and a staunch proponent of text messaging, adds, ‘Anything that simplifies the process is potentially something that will allow [marketers to use it more] because there’s still [a lot] of confusion about what shortcodes are.’

Gary Schwartz, president of Toronto’s mobile marketing firm Impact Mobile, says technology isn’t the barrier to entry with text messaging – the barrier is the continued lack of a compelling call to action in SMS campaigns that appeal to older folks. ‘If the marketing community understands that having a one-to-one communication with somebody while they’re on the street is of huge value, then yes, they’ll be able to move the demo up with good phones.’

The phone, which is being developed along with Digit Wireless and LG Electronics, is scheduled for release this fall.