Amazon recently unveiled a new “Web” service, called NowNow, that allows users to find answers to any question via mobile email. When users post a question to NowNow, a team of human workers surfs the web to find the answer. Users will get an email response with up to three answers to their question within just a few minutes. In the Beta test, all questions can be asked for free, though Amazon will eventually begin charging a small fee for each question asked.
The really cool part of this whole system is that it plugs into Amazon’s existing Mechanical Turk service, which we’ve covered before. Questions asked via NowNow get fed into the Mechanical Turk queue and are handled by those workers. Workers are paid based on the quality of their answers.
While some might argue that anyone with mobile access to email probably has mobile Web access as well, negating the need for the service, we think Amazon is exploring this territory because of the mobile Web’s current inability to truly mirror the desktop Web experience. Many mobile Web users find surfing and searching to be too slow to do on the fly – making the service pretty appealing in the mobile context. Stay tuned to see how this pans out. Learn more at NowNow.