Small Steps for Location-based Advertising
[Posted by Neil Strother]
Location-based mobile advertising – a perpetual star in the wings – took some small steps toward a bigger stage this week.
Alcatel-Lucent and partner 1020 Placecast announced a wireless carrier-based solution that promises to marry user location with relevant ads. Sounds good, but call me skeptical. The technology might be ready, but consumers are still mostly on the sidelines, and just as important so are advertisers.
Glympse is another location-based service out this week that potentially has ad-support in its future. It’s a free application similar to Loopt and Google Latitude. But it aims to cut down on the creepiness factor by allowing you to selectively share your location in small increments – or “glympses” – of time. You send a text message or email to someone, perhaps your spouse or the person you plan to meet for lunch in an hour, who can then follow you from zero minutes to four hours… you choose.
Glympse is currently only available for the G1, the Google Android phone from T-Mobile, but the company expects to port it soon to iPhones, BlackBerrys, Windows Mobile phones and other handsets. Someday advertising will turn Glympse into a sustainable business…someday maybe.
What’s your take? Are ad-supported location based services set to take off, or are these latest moves just more hype? Post a comment below, or let me know directly at email@example.com.