ESC, the Israeli youth MVNO, launched a new mobile app which enables users insert graphic icons to replace words in SMSs. The new graphic ‘language’ is called Zlango and now contains 220 graphic symbols which, according to official PR, aims to add personal expression and some fun spirit to the dull SMS. All ESC users will be able to watch messages containing the Zlango icons using a link (provided in the Zlango SMS) to the company’s web portal and view the message as a pic file.
[via Ynet in Hebrew]
- SMS is turning to be more than 160 characters using visual signs to express more in each character (out of 160).
- Visual symbols are the shortest way to convey meaning: think about ads, banners and promotions - a pic is worth a thousand words, right? Why not leverage this characteristic in other fields where space is limited/ expensive?
- This is another step towards a “visual” mobile which doesn’t rely only on voice (bigger screens for visual caller ID, SMS, IPTV, wap portals, emails, etc…).
- Written language is being reduced into visual icons. Some are universal (like ESC's symbol for “and”) but many others are being made up by the mvno itself (like ESC's symbols for “big”, “now”, “new”). Who will be the authority to invent missing symbols and to decide on their common meaning?