A SYSTEM that enables senders and recipients of text messages to remain anonymous has just been introduced by Loaf. It will enable young singles to become contactable without revealing their actual mobile phone number.
The idea is to create a Loaf 'handle' which participants give out to potential dates. All the potential suitor has to do is send a message via Loaf's service using the company's short code - 8845.
It's a simple matter of prefacing the text with the recipient's Loaf handle - such as Windymiller. The recipient receives the text without being able to discover the sender's mobile phone number.
Better still, when replying to the text, the sender remains totally anonymous until he or she decides it's safe to reveal his or her true telephone number.
Both parties need to sign up to Loaf's service online, a process that takes no more than two minutes. The trick lies in grabbing a 'sexy' and short loaf 'handle' before all the good ones disappear.
The INQ tried the system out and there's a slight delay after Loaf's servers validate your phone number before messages go through. Loaf notifies you if a message can't be delivered.
The service costs 25 pence per text, which on many tariffs is only 13 pence more expensive than sending a standard text message.
There's another useful facility hidden away. That's the ability to divert texts sent to your Loaf handle away from your handset to your own pre-defined mailbox address. That service requires you to log into your Loaf account and turn the redirection on.
There's also HTML code capability available to enable you to insert a graphic and URL into a mail message that takes email recipients straight to the relevant part of Loaf's service.
The only catch is that the email's sender needs to sign up and join Loaf too, so that the cost of texting can be added to their mobile phone bill.
Loaf is a good idea and just might possibly catch on. µ
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