Facebook fait l'acquisition d'une plateforme de publicité mobile géolocalisée

Facebook Zeroes In On Mobile Advertising, Buys Seattle Startup Rel8tion

Considering how big Facebook’s mobile audience is—200 million users and counting, fast—it’s surprising that it’s taken them this long to make a mobile advertising play. But today they’ve started in earnest, with the acquisition of a small Seattle startup focussed on hyperlocal markets called Rel8tion.
Little is known about Rel8tion—at this moment, the company’s website seems to have crashed under the world’s attention following the deal. But a Google cache of the site shows that it gives its users—advertisers—the ability to target campaigns on specific mapped areas based on criteria like Age, Income, Gender, Ethnicity/Race, Education, Marital Status, Employment Status and Career.
“This is the rel8tion campaign planning dashboard. You are looking at real-time locations and ad-inventory. Narrow your view to specific locations, specific demographics or specific times by adding filters and we’ll show you your potential audience,” reads the text at the top of the homepage’s real-time map, which is built on Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Maps.
Facebook in November 2010 announced that it had 200 million users accessing the site via mobile devices. But given the exponential growth of smartphones, and Facebook’s development of a feature phone app to access the site, the number will have surely grown in the last few months.
That gives the company a huge base to target for advertising in the future—potentially one of the biggest collective, cross-border mobile communities in the whole of the industry.
The deal also builds on Facebook’s own mobile-friendly enhancements—namely, the ability to check-in and update your Facebook status with your location. Now, potentially, that data can be used to build marketing profiles, as well as provide details that Facebook’s advertisers can use to target you.
Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, and Facebook itself has released the most pithy of statements confirming the deal: ““We’re excited to confirm that we recently completed a talent acquisition of Rel8tion, a stealth-mode startup in Seattle. The engineering team will join our growing Seattle office, and we’re looking forward to having them on board.” (via AllThingsD)
But it is clear that Facebook will be putting a lot more effort into how it uses mobile in the future to generate revenue: the company’s CTO Brett Taylor, speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco today, highlighted this fact when he told the audience that “Mobile is the primary focus for our platform this year.”

Source:  http://moconews.net/article/419-facebook-zeros-in-on-mobile-advertising-buys-seattle-startup-rel8tion/


Le couponing géolocalisé aux US

Mobile coupon free-for-all
Jan 19, 2011

Groupon and LivingSocial dominate the mobile coupon market
Location-based coupons offer genuine value, they are easy to produce, they have proved to be just as easy to monetise, and consumers love them because they are literally free for all. For these very same reasons, this segment of the market for location-based services (LBS) could become the arena for a free-for-all brawl among the coupon providers, reports Christopher Backeberg...
  The standard question about mobile advertising in general has been raised again during the last week. It's a pointed question: "When will the Year of Mobile Marketing actually arrive?" Few, however, question the effectiveness of mobile coupons and their growth potential. Coupons have caught the imagination of mobile phone users worldwide.
Big companies like Starbucks have declared themselves satisfied with their LBS coupon campaigns. Now more and more smaller enterprises are adding mobile coupons to their ad inventories.
Ben Yoskovitz comments for nextmontréal: "The competition is only going to increase as daily deal sites take over the mind share of small businesses. Although daily deal sites (to date) are not really geo-targeted beyond defining a city of interest, the hype surrounding them is unparalleled."
The current state of play
For a quick picture of where mobile couponing is right now, consider this:
  • According to the Washington Post, some estimates have placed the revenues of the two biggest mobile companies for 2010 at $500 million for Groupon and $200 million for LivingSocial
  • The Washington Post cites a Groupon estimate that 500 imitators have started up in the wake of Groupon's rapid growth
  • The imitators are not all small fry. In November last year, Facebook launched its Facebook Deals service, inspired by the success of Groupon
  • Other companies are waking up to the big money flowing through coupon services. As we report this week, Poynt has won a patent, with "priority before the year 2000," for delivering location-based offers and coupons to mobile smartphones based on GPS location and user profile
  • To temper the excitement about LBS coupons, BizReport this week quoted a finding by Evolution Insights that grocery shoppers would prefer to receive supermarket offers on their mobiles before they go shopping, not when they're standing in the aisles
  • Mobile coupons are generally simple in design and easy to work into LBS apps. They don't consume high bandwidth or require cutting-edge technology from the mobile networks. While 4G and LTE or WiMAX may be essential for many future location-aware services, good-looking coupons work perfectly well with the current 3G technology.
It's too early to know if Poynt will try to leverage its patent on LBS coupon delivery. Many companies routinely patent technologies with no overt intention of following up by litigating for patent infringement. We'll have to wait and see if Poynt sues anyone.
However, we won't have to wait long to see if the LBS coupon deluge will increase. To quote the Washington Post again: "Expect a daily-deal invasion."
Enlarging on this prediction, the Washington Post suggests that Groupon and LivingSocial didn't just happen on a great idea: "They stumbled on a valuable, scalable, transportable idea, one that just might become a new advertising staple."
Size matters in venture funding
We may be about to witness a frantic scramble among the hundreds of smaller coupon companies as they buy out competitors, merge, get taken over or become corpses in the fight for coupon business. The coupon segment has made itself look so attractive that it is already drawing in more start-ups than it can logically sustain in certain areas. The fight for venture funding could be intense.
That's not the situation for the main players. Groupon and LivingSocial appear to have experienced no major problems in raising capital.
Early last week Groupon completed a $950 million round of financing. Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Groupon intended to use the funds to expand its daily coupon website and buy back shares from existing shareholders. The investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as a private-equity investor, Silver Lake.
The latest valuation of Groupon is believed to be approximately $4.75 billion. Last month the company was so confident of its potential that it declined a $6 billion acquisition offer from Google.
LivingSocial has also been drawing in the investors. Last month it received $183 million in an investment round led by Amazon.com.
The funding for the market leaders strengthens their position to gain from the fundamental principle that businesses make more money by inducing more customers to buy from them. According to the Washington Post, the more successful players are moving towards regional, national and even international expansion. Groupon, for example, is expanding in Israel, India and South Africa.
"The group-coupon boom extends further still, with piggybacking businesses showing up in the last year or so as well," Annie Lowrey wrote in the Washington Post report. "There are sites to aggregate the daily deals: YipIt, 8Coupons, and DealRadar, for instance. And then there are sites - Adility, Wantsa and Ponkle - to help businesses set up their own group coupons."
Meanwhile, the mobile coupon sector's final revenues for 2010 are expected to exceed $750 million. Revenues are likely to top $1 billion this year.
Knowing the where and when
By definition, a location-based coupon is one delivered to the consumer at or near the location that's offering the coupon. This makes the finding by Evolution Insights - that only 8% of consumers want to receive LBS coupons when they're already inside the store - rather surprising.
James Johnson, lead analyst at Evolution Insights, offered an explanation: "This most probably has much to do with the planning that goes into most people's grocery shopping trips. Receiving digital coupons prior to a trip allows for the re-shuffling of shopping lists and menus to incorporate discounted items. By the time a consumer is standing in the aisles it seems a coupon may be too late to be of interest."
By and large, however, mobile coupons are often too good to resist. They typically offer discounts ranging from 50% to as much as 90%. No doubt the nature of coupon delivery will evolve as the providers learn more about exactly where and when their special offers will make the biggest psychological impact on buying decisions.
Such considerations are the fine-tuning. More importantly, analysts are predicting massive growth in deal-based, location-based and social-network-based ads, and through multiple channels. The Washington Post concludes: "Maybe it's better to think of group coupons not as a product distributed by a few companies, but as a method of advertising."
Source : http://social.thewherebusiness.com/content/mobile-coupon-free-all


Un brevet accordé pour le couponing géolocalisé: Poynt

Poynt snags location-based patent for serving up personalized offers

Poynt, a location-based mobile search engine from Multiplied Media, today announced it has been granted a patent, first filed in 2000, for delivering offers and coupons to a mobile user based on GPS location and information from the user’s profile, according to a company announcement.
Available on the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry, Poynt lets users search for services and products, and it provides results based on their location at the time of the search. The patent will help to protect this feature and create a barrier of entry for competitors.
The company launched its Offer Engine for local businesses recently at VentureBeat’s DEMO Fall 2010 event. The advertising tool makes it easy for local businesses to sign-up and push promotions to potential customers nearby.
Patent number 7,870,229 states:
A computer-implemented method for communicating an offer of goods or services to an individual having a microcomputer wirelessly linked to the internet and provided with a GPS receiver, the method comprising: receiving over the internet, from the microcomputer, location information derived from the GPS receiver and information identifying the individual; using the location information and the identifying information in a programmed computer in communication with a data bank of goods and services and a data bank of consumer profiles to determine an appropriate offer of goods or services for the individual; and thereupon, under the control of the programmed computer and without specific request by the individual, sending to the microcomputer over the internet using an identifier unique to the individual a message communicating the offer.
The new patent may be a major win for Poynt, especially with competition heading up around location-based services and offering promotions. Major competitors like Foursqaure, Location Labs and Placecast could be affected if Poynt decides to use the patent aggressively. I’ve reached out to each of the company’s contacts to get their perspective on how this may affect their futures and will update the post when I hear back.
Multiplied Media is a publicly traded Canadian company founded in 2002. The Poynt mobile application has been around since 2008 and downloaded over 4.8 million times, according to the company.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2011/01/12/poynt-patent/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Venturebeat+%28VentureBeat%29


L'article d'origine qui a fait enfler la polémique sur la transmission de données personnelles par les applications

Few devices know more personal details about people than the smartphones in their pockets: phone numbers, current location, often the owner's real name—even a unique ID number that can never be changed or turned off.
WSJ's Julia Angwin explains to Simon Constable how smartphone apps collect and broadcast data about your habits. Many don't have privacy policies and there isn't much you can do about it.
These phones don't keep secrets. They are sharing this personal data widely and regularly, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.
The findings reveal the intrusive effort by online-tracking companies to gather personal data about people in order to flesh out detailed dossiers on them.
Among the apps tested, the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Because of the test's size, it's not known if the pattern holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available.
Apps sharing the most information included TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging. It sent the phone's unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone's zip code, along with the user's age and gender, to two of them.
Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone's ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.

iPhone maker Apple Inc. says it reviews each app before offering it to users. Both Apple and Google say they protect users by requiring apps to obtain permission before revealing certain kinds of information, such as location."In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity," says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is "always with us. It's always on."
"We have created strong privacy protections for our customers, especially regarding location-based data," says Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr. "Privacy and trust are vitally important."
The Journal found that these rules can be skirted. One iPhone app, Pumpkin Maker (a pumpkin-carving game), transmits location to an ad network without asking permission. Apple declines to comment on whether the app violated its rules.
Smartphone users are all but powerless to limit the tracking. With few exceptions, app users can't "opt out" of phone tracking, as is possible, in limited form, on regular computers. On computers it is also possible to block or delete "cookies," which are tiny tracking files. These techniques generally don't work on cellphone apps.
The makers of TextPlus 4, Pandora and Grindr say the data they pass on to outside firms isn't linked to an individual's name. Personal details such as age and gender are volunteered by users, they say. The maker of Pumpkin Maker says he didn't know Apple required apps to seek user approval before transmitting location. The maker of Paper Toss didn't respond to requests for comment.

To expose the information being shared by smartphone apps, the Journal designed a system to intercept and record the data they transmit, then decoded the data stream. The research covered 50 iPhone apps and 50 on phones using Google's Android operating system. (Methodology available here.)Many apps don't offer even a basic form of consumer protection: written privacy policies. Forty-five of the 101 apps didn't provide privacy policies on their websites or inside the apps at the time of testing. Neither Apple nor Google requires app privacy policies.
The Journal also tested its own iPhone app; it didn't send information to outsiders. The Journal doesn't have an Android phone app.
Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a "supercookie," says Vishal Gurbuxani, co-founder of Mobclix Inc., an exchange for mobile advertisers.
On iPhones, this number is the "UDID," or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can't be blocked or deleted.
"The great thing about mobile is you can't clear a UDID like you can a cookie," says Meghan O'Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. "That's how we track everything."
Ms. O'Holleran says Traffic Marketplace, a unit of Epic Media Group, monitors smartphone users whenever it can. "We watch what apps you download, how frequently you use them, how much time you spend on them, how deep into the app you go," she says. She says the data is aggregated and not linked to an individual.

Apple and Google ad networks let advertisers target groups of users. Both companies say they don't track individuals based on the way they use apps.The main companies setting ground rules for app data-gathering have big stakes in the ad business. The two most popular platforms for new U.S. smartphones are Apple's iPhone and Google's Android. Google and Apple also run the two biggest services, by revenue, for putting ads on mobile phones.
Apple limits what can be installed on an iPhone by requiring iPhone apps to be offered exclusively through its App Store. Apple reviews those apps for function, offensiveness and other criteria.
Apple says iPhone apps "cannot transmit data about a user without obtaining the user's prior permission and providing the user with access to information about how and where the data will be used." Many apps tested by the Journal appeared to violate that rule, by sending a user's location to ad networks, without informing users. Apple declines to discuss how it interprets or enforces the policy.
Phones running Google's Android operating system are made by companies including Motorola Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Google doesn't review the apps, which can be downloaded from many vendors. Google says app makers "bear the responsibility for how they handle user information."
Google requires Android apps to notify users, before they download the app, of the data sources the app intends to access. Possible sources include the phone's camera, memory, contact list, and more than 100 others. If users don't like what a particular app wants to access, they can choose not to install the app, Google says.
"Our focus is making sure that users have control over what apps they install, and notice of what information the app accesses," a Google spokesman says.
Neither Apple nor Google requires apps to ask permission to access some forms of the device ID, or to send it to outsiders. When smartphone users let an app see their location, apps generally don't disclose if they will pass the location to ad companies.
Lack of standard practices means different companies treat the same information differently. For example, Apple says that, internally, it treats the iPhone's UDID as "personally identifiable information." That's because, Apple says, it can be combined with other personal details about people—such as names or email addresses—that Apple has via the App Store or its iTunes music services. By contrast, Google and most app makers don't consider device IDs to be identifying information.

A growing industry is assembling this data into profiles of cellphone users. Mobclix, the ad exchange, matches more than 25 ad networks with some 15,000 apps seeking advertisers. The Palo Alto, Calif., company collects phone IDs, encodes them (to obscure the number), and assigns them to interest categories based on what apps people download and how much time they spend using an app, among other factors.
By tracking a phone's location, Mobclix also makes a "best guess" of where a person lives, says Mr. Gurbuxani, the Mobclix executive. Mobclix then matches that location with spending and demographic data from Nielsen Co.
In roughly a quarter-second, Mobclix can place a user in one of 150 "segments" it offers to advertisers, from "green enthusiasts" to "soccer moms." For example, "die hard gamers" are 15-to-25-year-old males with more than 20 apps on their phones who use an app for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Mobclix says its system is powerful, but that its categories are broad enough to not identify individuals. "It's about how you track people better," Mr. Gurbuxani says.
Some app makers have made changes in response to the findings. At least four app makers posted privacy policies after being contacted by the Journal, including Rovio Mobile Ltd., the Finnish company behind the popular game Angry Birds (in which birds battle egg-snatching pigs). A spokesman says Rovio had been working on the policy, and the Journal inquiry made it a good time to unveil it.
Free and paid versions of Angry Birds were tested on an iPhone. The apps sent the phone's UDID and location to the Chillingo unit of Electronic Arts Inc., which markets the games. Chillingo says it doesn't use the information for advertising and doesn't share it with outsiders.
Apps have been around for years, but burst into prominence when Apple opened its App Store in July 2008. Today, the App Store boasts more than 300,000 programs.
Other phone makers, including BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. and Nokia Corp., quickly built their own app stores. Google's Android Market, which opened later in 2008, has more than 100,000 apps. Market researcher Gartner Inc. estimates that world-wide app sales this year will total $6.7 billion.
Many developers offer apps for free, hoping to profit by selling ads inside the app. Noah Elkin of market researcher eMarketer says some people "are willing to tolerate advertising in apps to get something for free." Of the 101 apps tested, the paid apps generally sent less data to outsiders.
Ad sales on phones account for less than 5% of the $23 billion in annual Internet advertising. But spending on mobile ads is growing faster than the market overall.
Central to this growth: the ad networks whose business is connecting advertisers with apps. Many ad networks offer software "kits" that automatically insert ads into an app. The kits also track where users spend time inside the app.
Some developers feel pressure to release more data about people. Max Binshtok, creator of the DailyHoroscope Android app, says ad-network executives encouraged him to transmit users' locations.
Mr. Binshtok says he declined because of privacy concerns. But ads targeted by location bring in two to five times as much money as untargeted ads, Mr. Binshtok says. "We are losing a lot of revenue."
Other apps transmitted more data. The Android app for social-network site MySpace sent age and gender, along with a device ID, to Millennial Media, a big ad network.
In its software-kit instructions, Millennial Media lists 11 types of information about people that developers may transmit to "help Millennial provide more relevant ads." They include age, gender, income, ethnicity, sexual orientation and political views. In a re-test with a more complete profile, MySpace also sent a user's income, ethnicity and parental status.
A spokesman says MySpace discloses in its privacy policy that it will share details from user profiles to help advertisers provide "more relevant ads." My Space is a unit of News Corp., which publishes the Journal. Millennial did not respond to requests for comment on its software kit.
App makers transmitting data say it is anonymous to the outside firms that receive it. "There is no real-life I.D. here," says Joel Simkhai, CEO of Nearby Buddy Finder LLC, the maker of the Grindr app for gay men. "Because we are not tying [the information] to a name, I don't see an area of concern."
Scott Lahman, CEO of TextPlus 4 developer Gogii Inc., says his company "is dedicated to the privacy of our users. We do not share personally identifiable information or message content." A Pandora spokeswoman says, "We use listener data in accordance with our privacy policy," which discusses the app's data use, to deliver relevant advertising. When a user registers for the first time, the app asks for email address, gender, birth year and ZIP code.
Google was the biggest data recipient in the tests. Its AdMob, AdSense, Analytics and DoubleClick units collectively heard from 38 of the 101 apps. Google, whose ad units operate on both iPhones and Android phones, says it doesn't mix data received by these units.
Google's main mobile-ad network is AdMob, which it bought this year for $750 million. AdMob lets advertisers target phone users by location, type of device and "demographic data," including gender or age group.
A Google spokesman says AdMob targets ads based on what it knows about the types of people who use an app, phone location, and profile information a user has submitted to the app. "No profile of the user, their device, where they've been or what apps they've downloaded, is created or stored," he says.
Apple operates its iAd network only on the iPhone. Eighteen of the 51 iPhone apps sent information to Apple.
Apple targets ads to phone users based largely on what it knows about them through its App Store and iTunes music service. The targeting criteria can include the types of songs, videos and apps a person downloads, according to an Apple ad presentation reviewed by the Journal. The presentation named 103 targeting categories, including: karaoke, Christian/gospel music, anime, business news, health apps, games and horror movies.
People familiar with iAd say Apple doesn't track what users do inside apps and offers advertisers broad categories of people, not specific individuals.
Apple has signaled that it has ideas for targeting people more closely. In a patent application filed this past May, Apple outlined a system for placing and pricing ads based on a person's "web history or search history" and "the contents of a media library." For example, home-improvement advertisers might pay more to reach a person who downloaded do-it-yourself TV shows, the document says.
The patent application also lists another possible way to target people with ads: the contents of a friend's media library.
How would Apple learn who a cellphone user's friends are, and what kinds of media they prefer? The patent says Apple could tap "known connections on one or more social-networking websites" or "publicly available information or private databases describing purchasing decisions, brand preferences," and other data. In September, Apple introduced a social-networking service within iTunes, called Ping, that lets users share music preferences with friends. Apple declined to comment.
Tech companies file patents on blue-sky concepts all the time, and it isn't clear whether Apple will follow through on these ideas. If it did, it would be an evolution for Chief Executive Steve Jobs, who has spoken out against intrusive tracking. At a tech conference in June, he complained about apps "that want to take a lot of your personal data and suck it up."
Source : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html?mod=googlenews_wsj