Is Your Website Mobile-Ready?
This week the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) launched a super cool new tool to help brands and businesses better understand how their websites are viewed through a mobile device. If you have a mobile-optimized site, this will most likely not apply to you. But for the masses still hesitant to spend money in mobile, this will serve as a huge – and probably very scary – wake up call. Tap into Mobile is a program developed by IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, an independently funded and staffed unit inside the IAB that has taken up the enormous task of educating and driving growth in the mobile industry. The board of directors reads like a who’s-who of the industry so stay tuned for more to come from this collaborative bunch. Read More
Apple Plans to Bite into Local Search
It seems the Apple/Google rivalry is growing to trump even their long-standing beef with Adobe. In fact, Google held it’s “next dimension” mapping event but never once approached the impending Apple Maps (iMaps) launch. Apple took a baby step into search with Siri, but as the real life capabilities of the voice-activated info-seeking tool come under more fire than Samuel L. Jackson’s “hot-zpacho”, most would argue Apple’s preparedness to step into the marketplace. Siri’s only search partnership is Yelp, a search tool that favors more of the social media side of the business – so the question I’d like to raise is this… Is Apple looking to compete with Google, or get a jump on Facebook’s long-anticipated venture into socially-powered search? Either way, the race for the next big thing in mobile search is fueled by these types of first-to-market rivalries, and while the big tech brands claw their way to the top, consumers will no doubt benefit from the innovations that unfold. Read More
Foursquare’s Transformation Still Lacks Monetization
Since its 2009 launch, Foursquare has compiled 2 billion data points related to its users – information that had gone largely unused by the now veteran social media app… until now. The updates to Foursquare focus on a social feedback engine so robust it claims to nearly eliminate the need to search within the app, relying on a user’s past preferences and that of your friends to personally recommend the best haunts for each search query. For example, if you and I typed in the same keyword – coffee – from the same geographic location, your recommendations would be vastly different from mine, based on our personal tastes and the activity of our circle of friends. Pretty cool right?
The only thing missing from this massive overhaul is the money maker…. No advertisement can be seen as of yet. BUT the groundwork has been laid. Search results can easily include a “sponsored location” given based on the keyword query, same as directory apps such as WhitePages and Poynt have done. It will be interesting to see how and when they roll out this portion of the update and move from trendy, penniless app to a social engine with $taying power. Read More