It says that text message is the preferred format for its member group of 16 - 24 year olds, and that this service will provide an opportunity for brands to include offers such as ‘try before you buy', updates, or snippets of information.
The difference between this and other mobile services, says Blyk, is that others are based on the assumption that users will be motivated to browse to the destination after proactively searching for it.
The service has been designed in partnership with mobile marketing technology platform Velti. Both Blyk and Velti say they "aim to improve the member experience and discovery of content."
When new members join Blyk they are profiled according to lifestyle and personal interests, and they receive free calls and texts in return for targeted advertising. The new offering is described by Shaun Gregory, UK chief executive, as "an evolution of [the] existing business model."
Alex Moukas, Velti chief executive, adds: "The more a Blyk member uses the content portal, the more insight we have to work with. This means we can provide more targeted and valuable content as the relationship grows."
Jamie Riddell, director of innovation at agency Cheeze, described the development as 'a logical extension to an innovative idea.'
"I haven't seen it before," he said. "By putting less onus on the consumer to seek out content, Blyk offers an exciting opportunity for the advertiser to achieve deeper interaction with the consumer. I can see this working well for entertainment products, from music or book snippets, to more in-depth products that require explanation. The trick will be ensuring the brand can bridge consumer entertainment and brand/product promotion."
But mobile marketing specialist James Pimentel-Pinto, chief executive of agencymobile, is more sceptical about how the development represents a ‘mobile first'.
"Yes, most operator portals are all based around WAP and mobile web where the onus is on the user to go and search for content they want, but the market trend is moving far more to rich user interface," he says. "To intuitive handset applications that allow the user to personalise all of the their content requirements and have content pushed to them, but using all of the user interface and rich interactivity of decent handsets, rather than user an old technology (MMS) that has been around for years."
"Yes, the target market are major users of messaging for texting their mates, but they are also early adopters who love using the latest technology and want to get the latest phones with the coolest interfaces," he adds.
"They could do this a lot better with a cross-platform mobile application that is either pre-installed in an operator or handset manufacturer deal or downloaded by their users Over the Air (OTA) using a shortcode. Then they could do this with a much better user experience and still use all of the personalisation and preferencing platform they have."