News out of Barcelona’s 3GSM conference today includes some from Taptu, the mobile search engine startup launched in the UK in October last year. It’s unveiling an improved version of its search engine and the ability for results to be shared with friends via email, mobile-to-mobile and Twitter. The formerly music and trivia-focused search engine also now adds news and travel to its index. Investors include 3i Group and Sofinnova Partners.
In January they launched a 3rd Party Search API enabling mobile website owners to hook into Taptu’s search engine to provide their users with results either purely from their local content pages, or from Taptu’s public web index of the web. The first partner to use this is Moblr, a site which allows you to view videos uploaded to the site directly on your mobile.
Taptu was founded by Steve Ives, previously CEO and founder of Trigenix Ltd, the mobile user interface firm acquired by Qualcomm in 2004. Taptu has previously had positive coverage from Ricky Cadden at Symbian-Guru, and Robert Scoble.
My personal feeling is that if the future is social search – as many think it is – then the future must also be mobile social search, since the mobile is such a social device. The problem is cracking that nut, and in the face of massive potential players like Yahoo!Go and Google Mobile/Android.