ChaCha Reports Continued High Growth

Mobile answers service ChaCha has enjoyed both high word-of-mouth adoption and high usage frequency. Privately, CMO Jay Highly shared a range of numbers with me at a previous MMA show that were very impressive regarding the frequency of the service's heaviest users. These rivaled PC-based search volumes. 

Now the company has put out an announcement based on recent Nielsen data:

In a head-to-head comparison between ChaCha and Google SMS, ChaCha achieved 70 percent of Google’s SMS search volume in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to data from the Q4 Mobile Messaging Report from The Nielsen Company. Of all SMS traffic measured in Nielsen’s report, which is comprised of all incoming and outgoing text messages, ChaCha is the seventh most trafficked service, quickly gaining ground on Google, Facebook, and Twitter. ChaCha now has more than 3.5 million unique mobile users in its first year of service. 

ChaCha sits between the "free DA" services, which have largely failed to take off into the mainstream, and mobile search. The ability to ask any question and the use of live agents differentiates the service from most of its competitors. 

DA provider kgb recently launched a similar SMS-based service, using distributed part-time agents, but without the voice input so as not to compete with the firm's clients, who are traditional DA providers.