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Obama's VP Text Missed By Half Who Signed Up

Keynote Systems' independent tests showed inconsistent performance of Obama's SMS service with extremely poor availability compared to the industry standard.

When Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said he'd announce his vice presidential candidate through text and e-mail, it was seen by many as a tech-savvy way to spread the news.

But a new study by Keynote Systems said between 40% and 50% of those who signed up may not have received the text at all.

Keynote, a mobile and Internet testing and measuring company, conducted 600 tests of the campaign's SMS short code for 10 days before the August 23 announcement. The company said the results showed inconsistent performance with extremely poor availability compared to the industry standard.

"Our evaluation of Obama's SMS service leading up to his VP announcement demonstrates the inadequacy of the SMS technical infrastructure to support large-scale marketing campaigns," said Shlomi Gian, director of mobile business development for Keynote, said in a statement. "The Obama event underscores the absolute need to monitor the performance of common short codes used in high-impact marketing or sales initiative in which actual deliver of the message to the consumer is important to the overall success of the campaign."

The Obama campaign has not released figures for its text campaign and did not respond to requests for comment, but Nielsen Mobile recently reported that the SMS reached 2.9 million people. Even though a cable news network was the first to break the story, Nielsen still deemed the effort a success.

"While much has been said of the timing and the scoop by news outlets, Obama's VP text message still ranks as one of the most important text messages ever sent and one of the most successful brand engagements using mobile media," said Nic Covey, director of insights at Nielson Mobile, in a statement.

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