Sharpcards has just announced its agreement with T-Mobile in the UK to embed its EMMA system (that's Enhanced Mobile Messaging Application to you and me) on certain of T-Mobile's handsets in the UK. This is to create a better MMS messaging experience for T-Mobile customers.
"Under terms of the three-year agreement, EMMA will be embedded within the messaging menu of the specific handsets. EMMA allows T-Mobile customers to send high quality ecards as easy as sending a text message, by putting the service right in front of the customer at a time when they're texting.
Ecards are designed as an imaginative was to send picture messages – fun and flirty animations for everyday sending, from the world's top brands.
EMMA comes in both Java and Symbian and is a fully integrated part of the handset software that requires no further installation by the customer. Content is continually updated and the customer does not pay a data fee to access the ecards."
T-Mobile in the UK, happens to be the cheapest MMS provider (as far as I know at least) at just 20p a message. And this represents very good value. The idea behind including the EMMA system, means that customers can access sophisticated mobile content such as animations and include that in their MMS messages. There's a one-off fee of 75p for the animation you choose, but once downloaded to your phone, you can use it as many times as you like.
I encourage ways to help normobs increase their usage of more sophisticated aspects of their phones and this is a great start. My only question is the pricepoint... is 75p too much for the average teenager (for I'm guessing it will be teenagers who might drive this) for something like this? I suspect once the service has gained some traction and is out there on a selection of handsets in the market that we'll see some ad-funded models emerging or specific sponsored content... I can already visualise Coca-Cola traditional Christmas animations and Love Hearts at Valentine's Day. I do hope so, as I think it will be at that point that this will really take off and could be an interesting spin on mobile marketing.