Sprint, Zoove launch StarStar Me vanity shortcode services

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Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) introduced StarStar Me, enabling subscribers to replace their conventional 10-digit mobile phone number with a personalized shortcode incorporating their name, nickname or other unique identifier.

Launched in conjunction with vanity phone number registry Zoove, StarStar Me lets Sprint customers adopt mobile numbers like **SARAH (**72724) or **CHLOE (**24563). Calls may be made to StarStar Me numbers within the U.S. from any Sprint, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) or T-Mobile USA phone. Users can also respond to incoming calls with a customized StarStar Me text message indicating their current unavailability and containing information on their social media footprint.

Sprint subscribers can have two StarStar Me numbers per mobile phone number, each priced at $2.99 per month. "We expect this service to be especially popular with professionals, students and family customers, who can tailor its use to their individual preferences, lifestyles and interests with a few simple clicks," said Sprint Vice President of Product and Technology Development Kevin McGinnis.

Sprint is additionally rolling out a free StarStar Me app for smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, with a version for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS also in the pipeline. The app allows users to manage multiple StarStar Me numbers, send callers their contact information, view call logs and block specific contacts.

Zoove is the exclusive provider of StarStar vanity numbers in the U.S. Numbers vary between two and 12 digits and are most commonly associated with marketing campaigns--users dial the shortcode in question to connect with a brand or product, and Zoove pushes mobile apps, Web pages, coupons and videos directly to their phone.

Brands or advertisers looking to create or use a StarStar number must first register the campaign with Zoove--in addition, the firm provides content review and oversight services to guarantee that promotions meet carrier guidelines and policies. Brands pay Zoove an annual fee for their StarStar number, with prices fluctuating based on the length and scarcity of the number.

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