The final year-end results for 2008 are trickling in, and despite the headwind that we faced in 2008 with the economy going down the drain, we achieved some remarkable results. In fact, there was a steady crescendo of activity through the year, and by December, a palpable buzz of energy was radiating from within our offices. So it should not come as a surprise that the results were strong.
Today at our Lunch 2.0/Blogger Day event it was great to see so much excitement and passion for the new possibilites created by iPhone 3G. Certainly our moderator, Mike Arrington, was the perfect guy for the job, as evidenced when he asked me to call building security to haul away some poor soul who spoke up as a Windows Mobile advocate. Great set of apps demoed by our friends Ethan from Urbanspoon and John from Jott, in addition to our own soon-to-be-launched app. And the discussion itself was great too, with lots of audience participation. iPhone vs. Android? Monetization opps? iPhone killer app? In my book though (which is admittedly biased), the highlights were the near-physical confrontation between Mike and Joe, and also our very own iPhone-app-enabled speaker phone call to our soon-to-be-elected new prez!
(John Cook’s chronicle of the event.)
Mike makes a threatening hand motion toward Joe…
Engaged Lunch 2.0 crowd packing the room…
Mark your calendars for the Lunch 2.0 event on Aug 1 (@11:30am), when we’ll shine the spotlight on iPhone apps. We’ll have our own learnings to share about developing iPhone apps, and to make this event a little more special for our friends in the local community, I figured that we’d make this into a broader jam session on iPhone. So I’m excited to announce that Urbanspoon and Jott, both of which have enjoyed early success with their iPhone apps, will be joining us for a panel discussion. And for some extra allure, Michael Arrington has promised to moderate the panel and spice it up. It should be lots of fun, and don’t forget to RSVP so we save a seat for you!
Our mission at WhitePages.com has always been to provide everyone the best and simplest service to find each other and connect. Over the past ten years we’ve proven our success in helping people search and find each other. Our database has grown to 180 million people, and just last month we added the capability for consumers to post their cell phone number. We’re confident in our position as the leader in people search.
But for us to become the leaders in connecting people we need to evolve and I’m very proud to announce the next step in this evolution…
WhitePages.com has entered into an agreement to purchase Snapvine.
Also based here in Seattle, Snapvine’s culture and technology is a perfect match for us. The acquisition will bring Snapvine’s popular voice applications, its powerful technology platform, and its amazing development team, to WhitePages.com.
Snapvine’s technologies will allow people to instantly connect with the people they are looking for… in their own voice.
We look forward to rolling out a number of new connection features over the next couple of months that complement our current search offerings. Using Snapvine’s VoIP technology, we have plans to allow consumers to create a free, private voicemail box where others can leave messages without disclosing the recipient’s personal home or cell phone number. And similarly, we also plan to launch text-based relay services based on email and SMS.
We’re very excited about this announcement and what it means for the future of WhitePages.com.
For another perspective on the news, take a look at what our Developer Blog has to say…
We just did a beta launch of a new feature on our site that allows you to add your cell number to our site. We are doing this strictly on an opt-in basis, because that is what our users have told us to do. Why add your cell phone? If you’re like me, to be easily reachable by others that you care about. In fact, although both my home and cell phones are listed on WhitePages.com, I prefer that people call me on my cell. After all, I carry it with me everywhere and I turn it off when I don’t want to be disturbed (unlike my home landline phone). It’s also good to know that I can be easily contacted in the event of an emergency. For others, such as service professionals for example, there might be business reasons to add their cell phone.
For this first beta release, we’re keeping the service very rudimentary. Although the service seems very simple on the surface, this is a very big milestone for us at WhitePages.com because it marks the first time ever that…
– we have added cell numbers to our site
– we have allowed our users to contribute listings
– we have configured our database to allow real-time updates on a listing-by-listing basis
Lots of product development and engineering heroics have gone into making that possible. Woo hoo!
Now that we have our foundation built, please stay tuned over the coming months, as we look forward to layering lots of additional (and useful!) services on top of the base offering.