Spinvox has updated its voice-to-text messaging service to enable those receiving messages to respond at the press of a button. The company has also changed focus, aiming its service at operators rather than selling directly to mobile users.
The Spinvox service already allows subscribers to have voicemail messages on their mobile account automatically converted to text and forwarded to them as a text message or email.
With VoxLinks, each converted message now includes two links: one to hear the original voicemail if the text is unclear; and a second to let the user speak a response to be delivered back to the original caller as a text message, even if they are not a Spinvox subscriber.
The result is a continuous conversation delivered via a simple messaging path, according to Spinvox.
Co-founder and chief strategy officer Daniel Doulton said that the update makes using the service easier, and enables users to be more responsive to those trying to contact them.
"Voicemail usage is dropping globally because users are frustrated that they can't get a real-time response. Many voicemails are never actually listened to, and in fact a lot of people just turn it off."
In contrast, around 80 per cent of text messages are responded to within 10 minutes, according to Doulton.
"Sometimes you just want to reply quickly to say you've got a message, and it's at least seven times faster to just hit the VoxLinks 'Reply' link and speak a response than to tap it out on the keypad," he said.
The Spinvox service was originally marketed at end users, but the company is now aiming to have it operated by the mobile carriers instead. About a dozen networks have already signed up, including Vodafone in Europe, and the company expects to have more than 20 operators on board by the end of this year.
"Any serious service goes into the carrier portfolio, and in many cases they will not charge any extra for it. It will be part of your airtime plan," Doulton said, explaining that for carriers, the service has the advantage of not needing any modifications to handsets or tricky configuration by users. "It enables networks to deploy a useful feature to everyone," he said.
Spinvox also expects to implement a link with Facebook that will enable users to speak updates direct to their profile.
Users can sign up for the Spinvox service through the company itself, and existing subscribers will be upgraded to take advantage of VoxLinks, according to Doulton.
Spinvox also offers a number (0161 369 5672) that anyone can call to try out the service. Callers can speak a message to be delivered via SMS to any mobile for the cost of a local call.
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