Google has announced it has expanded its search service to text message. The first country to receive this service is Africa which, according to Google's official blog, has the world's highest mobile growth rate.

Google SMS

"Most mobile devices in Africa only have voice and SMS capabilities, and so we are focusing our technological efforts in that continent on SMS," explains the blog.

"Today, we are announcing Google SMS, a suite of mobile applications which will allow people to access information, via SMS, on a diverse number of topics including health and agriculture tips, news, local weather, sports, and more."

Google Trader and SMS Tips

Other SMS-based features include Google Trader, where users in Africa can "find, 'sell' or 'buy' any type of product or service, from used cars and mobile phones to crops, livestock and jobs."

And there's also Google SMS Tips, a rather smart questions-and-answers based service which is a database of queries that can be accessed through the medium of text.

"We're just beginning. We can do a lot more to improve search quality and the breadth - and depth - of content on Google SMS, especially on Tips and Trader. Google SMS is by no means a finished product, but that's what's both exciting and challenging about this endeavour," concludes the blog.

Via Google Blog