Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advertising companies need to catch up with how the Web platform is expanding. Location-based services is the next natural step

Mobile app spendings are consistently increasing as we push forward into the future. Incidentally, there are advertising agencies that are still stuck on desktop customer experiences. The future is going mobile and I feel like Apple is the only company that is scaling with the growth of Mobile advertising with iAd.

The biggest trending mobile web services at the moment are location-based. FourSquare and Facebook Places aim to drive local advertisement throughput by being able to notify users which locations are hot and which are not. From fine dining to parties--location-based services will shape our reality by changing our views on our local environments. A simple use-case would be if I were in the area and one of my Facebook friends was at nearby Coffee Shop that I've never gone to before. I would be inclined to meet up with my friend and grab a coffee. Since I've never been there before, I would be rewarded with a badge or an achievement (FourSquare).

A simple reward system is so addictive and I believe that rewarding users will be a primary piece of functionality in most social networks in the future.

The next question is, "will there be a bubble burst like in year 2000?". My thoughts are "no" for a couple of reasons. In 1999, 99% of starters didn't have profitable business models and the Web as a platform wasn't viable for the business models they wanted to exercise. Today, we have smart phones that have fully capable web browsers and more users on the internet on massive social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, and Google. Since most people are connected in someway to a larger network, the rise of 3rd party APIs came to be as a way of "connecting the different universes". Think of it as a way of achieving warp speeds and getting to different parts of the universe--This eventually led to the construction of useful mashups which would consume these APIs into centralized systems.

What does this mean to the user? As technology constantly improves and design becomes more innovative with touch and spatial interfaces, we'll see a rise of newer strategies for targeted, location-based advertising. Context is always a huge win when it comes to online advertising. With location-based social networking, users will have full confidence in the decisions (s)he want to make because their friends are doing it. It's not something that you're forced into doing like TV and Flash video advertisements.

Jaime Bueza

Jaime Bueza is a software developer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's creating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.