Mobile Fix – February 17

Facebook

As everyone fixates on the Facebook IPO, we liked this article showing the guy who is in charge of their ad strategy – the typical smart SAI title says it all; The $100bn valuation pretty much depends on this one guy. No pressure then.

And Facebook have announced their first event specifically for marketers taking place on February 29th in New York. We can expect to hear more about the ad strategy then. And what they plan to do with mobile

Some changes are already being leaked, with one change being a reduction in the size of the basic ads – down from the 135 characters to just 90. And this come as users report seeing up to 7 ads on their screen.

Maybe Less is More. But for who?

The Facebook mobile strategy took another big step this week with the announcement of a partnership with Orange to distribute Facebook to its 70 million users in Africa. As data usage is still low in this region Facebook will use a technology called USSD, which is built in virtually all GSM phones and used for services like callback. They expect one million new customers by the end of the year.

This approach is separate from Facebook Zero where users can access a stripped down version of Facebook for free on their mobile if their operator has signed up.

And the Guardian is finding its integration with Facebook hugely successful.

GAFA coming to the living room?

There seems to be something a foot at the GAFA HQs. Googlehave hired a senior Apple guy (with a track record in hardware) for a secret projectThere are stories that Google are to launch a product in home entertainment.

The Guardian has an interesting piece of speculation around how Amazon could enter the TV market.

With the news that Google are partnering with Sony to launch GoogleTV in the UKthis spring, and Tim Cook hinting that Apple still see TV as an opportunity newTV seems to be getting closer.

Some new research suggests people like the idea of getting TV on a variety of devices. And media and web pioneer Barry Diller is investing in Aereo- a new startup that offers TV access via broadband, using an innovative technology that essentially gives each subscriber their own antenna. As someone who ran ABC, owned the Home Shopping Network and started Fox TV for Murdoch, Diller gets TV better than most.

Second screen is the other hot area in newTV and this article has some anecdotal information on how it is working for US brands. 

“It’s almost, in effect, helping brands close the loop from interest to actual action in a more direct response model.”

Places

Whilst the novelty of checking in places to be mayor may be waining its clear that the context of location is going to be really useful – and probably really valuable.

Foursquare have built a fantastic resource – we haven’t found anywhere not on their systems for months (even in exotic places like Sri Lanka, Sao Paulo and St Ives). And their APIs are both comprehensive and generous – so we see smart ideas like 4SQWiFI – and app that helps you find wifi hotspots by using the FourSquare database – often with the password too.

A new(ish) feature on FourSquare itself is Explore, where you can pick a location and find places in that location – great for forward planning. And you can now filter  – so just see places your friends have been to or places you have been before. Now they need to integrate Google StreetView so you can take a look around at the same time.

This is a good summary of how brands are using Places

Quick Reads

Some very interesting thinking around mobile measurement from the smart people at StrikeAds

Apple cuts the price of iADs. We expect some significant developments from Apple before too long.

Google share some findings on how mobile was used in holiday shopping in the US. Some impressive numbers here.

A great infographic on how infographics are ruining the web

Football gets social – which clubs are doing well on Facebook and Twitter. And, yes, it’s an infographic.

Forrester offer some sensible thinking on developing a mobile strategy. Don’t have a mobile strategy? You don’t have a future strategy. We need to talk.

Finally…. Whilst P&G and Unilever are pivoting to a more digitally focused approach to marketing, Nike have been pioneers. This is a good look at how they have reorganised to bring marketing closer to product and switched money from TV to digital

 ”Connecting used to be, ‘Here’s some product, and here’s some advertising. We hope you like it,’ ” he says. “Connecting today is a dialogue.”

And if you have some time it’s worth reading a fascinating Malcolm Gladwell article on the pioneers of infomercials, as they were the people who first worked out that combining product and marketing can be really profitable.

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