Watch Out TV, Mobile’s On The Move

•August 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Mobile consumption outpaces TV

Independent mobile ad network, InMobi, reports that mobile media consumption has risen beyond that of television and PCs.  The facts, according to InMobi, are that “Americans spend 2.4 hours consuming media on mobile devices compared with 2.35 hours for TV and 1.6 hours on PCs.”  A couple of factors can be attributed to these figures.  Firstly, smartphones owners continue to be on the rise, accounting for nearly 50% of the consumers in the US.  Couple that with the amount of time spent in proximity to the device, which for many people is all of their waking hours.  Add on the reason consumers are adopting smartphones (media consumption), and you have the recipe for a leader.
What may be a more interesting stat, released in the same report, is that “59 percent of consumers say they are influenced by mobile ads compared with 57 percent who are influenced by TV ads.”  Let’s look at that for a second:

“The report finds that mobile ads now have the largest impact of all media channels on U.S. consumers’ purchase process, with 59 percent of consumers saying their purchases are influenced by mobile ads, followed by 57 percent influenced by TV ads,” said Anne Frisbee, vice president and managing director for North America at InMobi, Palo Alto, CA.”

“Perhaps the most potential lies in the finding that mobile advertising drives mobile buying, as m-commerce has grown 21 percent since Q4 2011,” she said. “Consumers are not only reporting to be comfortable with mobile ads, but they are listening to them, discovering new things and purchasing goods.”

Here is where mobile advertising is going to have to be smart.  Demographically, apps seem to be the ideal place for relevant, contextual advertisements.  When you have large consumption, plus relevant ads, you have a nice baseline for success like smartphones seem to be having.  But you can’t ignore another factor that may be in play, and that is curiosity – part of the adoption curve.  Smartphone users have only been around in this app-filled world for a handful of years.  We can look at the display advertising lifespan as the perfect corollary to mobile ads.  When banner ads began, consumers were curious and had no hesitation to clicking on ads.  That has changed, and the savvy advertiser knows that banner ads hold much of their value today from a branding standpoint, as opposed to direct response.

So while this is great news for the mobile ad tech industry, I still think mobile advertising will have to get over two major hurdles in order to continue to thrive.  The first will be keeping consumers from developing “Mobile Ad Blindness”.  Right now it’s safe to say many smartphone users don’t know how to even exit mobile ads.  That will change rapidly.  Secondly, mobile will have to firmly tackle attribution, which still hasn’t been solved in the display space.  It’s great that a survey shows 59% of consumers ‘say’ they are influenced by mobile ads, but what do the actual actual behaviors reveal?

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Board Games, iPad Style

•March 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Tell me you can’t picture the two kids (or adults for that matter) seated next to you on your next flight, playing this?

A new iPad application called Game Table is betting that will be the case.  It’s not just checkers, but many of the classic board games, all for the price of 99 cents (plus the cost of an Apple iPad).  Seems like an inevitable application, but if you really think about the possibilities, it’s another strong example of how the iPad can be a game changer — pun intended.  With the bigger screen, the idea of transforming the iPad into an interactive board game surface should be another reason to consider the device.  And this is just how Apple envisioned the iPad to work.  I’m convinced Steve Jobs works by the clichéd motto “if you build it, apps will come.”

You’ll be able to find the Game Table app in the iPad app store April 3rd.

BlinkedIn.

•March 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Wait so LinkedIn just, finally, came out with a BlackBerry app?  Sadly, but I guess happily for some, yes.  You can download the app here and if you use LinkedIn and a BlackBerry, it’s really a must have.  So what does this application include?  Let’s see:

  • Network Updates. View and share crucial business intelligence and updates with your network.  Perfect for those spare moments between meetings.
  • Search. Search across over 60 million global professionals, and get the answer back in seconds. We’ve implemented a unified search across both your direct connections and the entire LinkedIn network.
  • Connections. LinkedIn is your address book in the cloud.  Get quick access to any of your connections to get their up-to-date profile information, and the ability to send them a message immediately.
  • Invitations. Why wait to get back to your desk? Accept outstanding invitations immediately.
  • Messages. Messaging is one of the reasons that BlackBerry owners love their devices, and we’ve worked hard to integrate your LinkedIn Inbox.
  • Reconnect. You can’t leverage your network if you don’t build it.  This module brings suggestions for new connections to you anytime.  Now you can build your network from anywhere, in seconds.

These are the main 6 features of the application, but there are some others.  You can also integrate your LinkedIn connections with your BlackBerry contact list, with your calendar and your email.  The team also stresses that this new app with be a priority and with that will come regular updates and enhancements.

I’ve downloaded the app, spent some time on it, and think that it’s definitely a solid first addition.  It’s easy to navigate, it’s easy on the eyes and it’s fairly fast — which is nice.  For more info and some screen shots, go here.

Foursquare. Anything But Square.

•November 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been following Foursquare for a long time now (maybe since July), and I hadn’t made up my mind about it until very recently.  Many people having been quietly calling the mobile social networking application the next Twitter, and now I can honestly say that I’m starting to believe.  But quickly, let me give a brief overview of what Foursquare is.

Basically it’s a status update that incorporates your location, via your mobile GPS.  Instead of Tweeting like you’d do on Twitter, you Check In.  It’s a smarter Twitter really, since you can send a status update that also lets your friends know where you are and what you’re doing.  You can also find your friends, search venues, earn badges and add your friends.  The earn badges feature may be its biggest addictive quality.  One simply checks in from various locations, and those that check in the most become “Mayors.”  This sort of idea gives it an almost game-like appeal.

Foursquare originated as an iphone app, but has since become its own entity that can be accessed from virtually any smart phone.  With the trend of things becoming simpler and faster, Foursquare definitely fits the mold.  But this week’s announcement of an API, may have sealed the companies’ future.  The program feature allows any third-party developer to build and create anything they like on top of the Foursquare structure (just as iphone did with their applications).  What this might do is create some separation from any other similar GPS-based ideas looking to infiltrate.  But aside from just going after the programmers and developers, Foursquare is also going after the restaurants and retailers.  “Foursquare for Business” is an application that gives retailers the ability to offer discounts from those just “checking in.”   An example is Tasti D-Lite, offering a discount if you check in to two of its locations.  Anyone can easily see how this can become an incredibly useful marketing tool for businesses as the service grows increasingly popular (which I believe it will).

Foursquare also recently added 50 new cities globally to it’s already around 50 city database.

I followed Twitter from its early stages and its growth started slowly (I’ll admit I didn’t see the excitement at first), but once it caught on we all know what happened next.  I believe that Foursquare has positioned itself well enough to become the next major player in the social networking world and think that their growth will be exponentially faster.  We all know that status updates are here and we also know that the smart phone and mobile internet is here.  It’s really a marriage of these two technologies coming together at the right time.  The only thing I could see stopping this inevitable next step is really Twitter itself.  But Twitter is also wrapped up with expanding their own company and developing their advertising model that it might not be feasible for them to jump in.  Just the same, it also could be very feasible for them to step in.  This will be something very interesting to keep an eye on and I intend to do that here.

Only time will tell, but if you want a jump-start on “the next big thing,” go check Foursquare out for yourself.

Also check out Mashable’s CEO Pete Cashmore discuss the company here.

“Unfriend” is Oxford Dictionary’s Word of 2009, Let’s Rejoice!

•November 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Oxford dictionary has paid homage to social media’s lasting power by selecting Unfriend as it’s 2009 word of the year.  Every November, Oxford dictionary announces it’s word of the year and it usually coincides with the trend of the year.  So with a nod to social media, we have the dark cloud of:

unfriend – verb – To remove someone as a ‘friend’ on a social networking site such as Facebook.

In my opinion defriend would make a little more sense, but unfriend is the term that stuck–and apparently, will stick for the foreseeable future.  Because we all know, what goes in the dictionary, stays in the dictionary.  In 2008, the word Tweet lost to the word Locavore so you’d think maybe Retweet would have garnered some enthusiasm this year as Twitter was probably the biggest social media story of the year.  But alas, it’s an ode to Facebook and to a generally “unfriendly” word.  And to all those Scrabble fans, you now have another option you can start with “U,”  take advantage.

To take a look at the runner ups, go here.

Status Quo?

•October 21, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Back in April, 2009, 11% of internet users reported using status updates (Twitter or other service).  Now it’s being reported by Pew Internet and American Life Project, that the 11% has since become 19%.  That’s a gigantic increase in less than a year, and one that only further supports Twitter as an internet mainstay.

pew-status-updates

According to Pew:

Three groups of internet users are mainly responsible for driving the growth of this activity: social network website users, those who connect to the internet via mobile devices, and younger internet users – those under age 44.

In addition, the more devices someone owns, the more likely they are to use Twitter or another service to update their status. Fully 39% of internet users with four or more internet-connected devices (such as a laptop, cell phone, game console, or Kindle) use Twitter, compared to 28% of internet users with three devices, 19% of internet users with two devices, and 10% of internet users with one device.

The median age of a Twitter user is 31, which has remained stable over the past year. The median age for MySpace is now 26, down from 27 in May 2008, and the median age for LinkedIn is now 39, down from 40. Facebook, however, is graying a bit: the median age for this social network site is now 33, up from 26 in May 2008.

Pew notes that this increase is likely to stay, as more internet users flock to mobile devices as a primary means of accessing the internet.

As of September 2009, 54% of internet users have a wireless connection to the internet via a laptop, cell phone, game console, or other mobile device. Of those, 25% use Twitter or another service, up from 14% of wireless users in December 2008.  By comparison, 8% of internet users who rely exclusively on tethered access use Twitter or another service, up from 6% in December 2008.

Statistical analysis also shows that wireless access is an independent factor in predicting whether someone uses Twitter or another status update service.  It is not simply because this group is likely to be young or tech-savvy.  Owning and using a wireless internet device makes an internet user significantly more likely to tweet.

All of this info leads to a single conclusion: social media isn’t going anywhere.  New platforms will come and go, but socializing over the internet is here to stay.  It was always inevitable.  And I will note, it’s also very refreshing.  Older generations have opined that advancements in technology have led to people becoming less socially active as they disappear to their PC’s.  But lately that is quite the opposite.  People are actually becoming more social.  Because now, instead of leaving the company of others, people are continuing that social dialogue on their mobile devices and then on their computers when they get home.  People are becoming submersed in social activity virtually whenever they are awake (at least 19% of people are, but that’s growing rapidly).  This is a good thing.  It’s bringing people together when they’d otherwise be separated.  Status updates are the bridge between connecting socially in person and connecting socially online.  There is no longer downtime.  So what you have now is this: status updates are becoming status quo.

Click here for the full Pew report.

All Mix’d Up

•October 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Social mapping company Loopt has just launched one of their most popular features, “Mix,” as a stand along iphone application.  Loopt is a mobile application that essentially lets you discover the world around you, geographically.  A segment of Loopt called Mix, which lets you meet new people located nearby who also have the app, will now be its own entity.  According to the blog on Loopt’s website, “It’s ideal for those who are looptlooking for new friends to go to events with, getting to know someone over coffee, or new to town—almost anything you can imagine.”  Features include:

– Free messaging with people around the country on Loopt Mix!
– Browse profiles of interesting people near you.
– Real-time, in-app chat with push notifications.
– Post multiple photos and status updates to introduce yourself.
– Use likes / tags and search filters to connect in the real world.

According to TechCrunch, CEO of Loopt Sam Altman thinks that the future of mobile web applications is dating services, which Mix will be primarily used for.  While the app won’t tell you the location of any of its members, it gives you their proximity and allows members to connect with each other and chat.  It also has changeable privacy settings for those who are a little nervous being too visible.  Mix is a natural progression for the iphone and whether it succeeds or fails, mobile dating applications will continue to gain in popularity.  We once thought anyone using the internet to date was creepy, but now it’s probably less creepy than meeting someone at a bar.  In a society where time is more valuable than air, why sit at home looking for dates, when you can go out, have fun, meet new single people and then date them all in the same night.