SMS Gupshup crosses 45 million users

SMS Gupshup reportedly crossing 45 million users shows that SMS is still a viable tool for brands looking to reach a large audience.

e4m by Gopal Sathe
Updated: Jun 1, 2011 8:06 AM
SMS Gupshup crosses 45 million users

Mobile social network SMS GupShup revealed recently that they have crossed 45 million users, making them the largest social network in India, well ahead of Facebook (over 25 million) LinkedIn (over 9 million) or Twitter (over 4 million). For brands, that is a large audience of people who are largely not on the Internet, but can be reached in a highly targeted fashion, according to their location, or the handset that they are using.

For SMS GupShup, the growth has been driven by word of mouth. Co-founder and CEO, Beerud Sheth, said, “The platform provides a very simple and easy way for anyone to connect with large groups of people on varied topics of interest. Users join communities they are interested in, spread the word by inviting others to become members and interact with each other. The platform is absolutely free for consumers.”

He also added that the platform is a powerful tool for brands. Sheth said, “Brands can target their messages to well-defined audiences. Targeting can be based on different parameters like demography, location or behavior, all of which are supported by our platform. Based on their objectives and target audience, brands can select appropriate types of targeting. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to create opt-in communities – these are users that are positively inclined to hear from your brand. Engaging these users offers the highest RoI possible.”

He added, “GupShup’s communities are a powerful way for brands to engage with their audience of new or existing customers. This engagement can be a means to a variety of ends. Ponds uses GupShup to build loyalty. Snapdeal is using it to promote their deals and offers. Several brands, international as well as Indian (ICICI Lombard, Puma, Microsoft, Ford, Cadbury etc), have seen increase in sales by using our platform to market their products and grow their customer base.”

In the past, Cadbury has leveraged the network for a Diwali campaign which was on multiple media. The campaign allowed users to send Diwali wishes which got a big response from the network. Aside from this, Puma has also run advertising campaigns on the platform, and Ford ran a campaign to launch their Fiesta automobile on the network.

With around half the users of the network being active on a monthly basis, generating over 2 billion messages in a month, brands can reach out across a variety of interests, to provide contextual messaging.

At the same time, the service can also be accessed via the internet on PCs, and Sheth feels that the growth of 3G in India will also benefit the network greatly. He said, “3G, combined with smartphones, will enable us to deliver richer experiences to users. Our core asset is the ‘interest graph’ (what are people’s interests) and ‘social graph’ (who knows whom). Whether our users access GupShup through SMS or data, our goal is to deliver them the richest social experience possible on their handset.”

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