AT&T forms co-branding partnership with ChaCha

AT&T has formed a co-branding partnership with ChaCha to get into the mobile answers business.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger

AT&T announced Wednesday that it has formed a strategic partnership with ChaCha, a mobile service that allows users to submit questions via text message or phone and receive their answer in a text message.

The deal calls for a co-branded greeting and AT&T promotion when consumers call ChaCha's answer hotline or text message the company a question.

More important from a business standpoint, the two companies will also work together to improve ChaCha's mobile-answers service and develop both text and voice ad-based services.

The partnership between AT&T and ChaCha is interesting, to say the least. At first glance, the deal makes some sense, given both companies are working in the mobile space and want to maximize monetization. But after further inspection, I don't see how a clunky mobile answers service with less than ideal accuracy can provide greater value to AT&T customers. And if the companies can't develop a viable advertising solution, it seems all AT&T will get for its troubles is the chance to have its name mentioned whenever a user calls or text messages ChaCha to ask a question.