Brand Building: And the Site Officially Launches!

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Note: This post is the last in a series on Brand Building that highlights the approach that WhitePages has taken over the past 15 months to build and reposition its brand

Today, I’m very excited to announce the official launch of our all-new WhitePages website !

If you’ve been following the Brand Building Series, you already have a pretty good idea of what this brings to you. If not, here are some highlights:

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Recent Growth as We Move Into the Year of the Ox

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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.

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iPhone Excitement

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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…
Michael Arrington and Lunch 2.0 panel on iPhone

Engaged Lunch 2.0 crowd packing the room…
Lunch 2.0 at WhitePages.com Lunch 2.0 Seattle

Lunch 2.0 with WP, Urbanspoon, Jott, and Arrington

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Lunch 2.0 Seattle
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!

Giving a Voice to WhitePages.com

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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.

Stay tuned!

For another perspective on the news, take a look at what our Developer Blog has to say