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IAMAI 2010: Admixture of social networking, mobile advertising and location can bring striking advertising revenues

By Mitra Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | April 08, 2010
The panellists expressed different views about the intersection of mobile, social networking and location

The second mobile ad conference saw a discussion on the convergence of mobile, social networking and location to drive ad revenues. The panellists comprised: Kiran Konduri, cofounder, Asklaila; Arun Bhati, head of solution area service delivery and provisioning, Ericsson; Satya Yerramsetti, chief executive officer, 160by2 and Krishna Kumar, director - business development, InMobi.com.

& #BANNER1 & #Yerramsetti commenced the discussion by giving the real picture of the social networking site, Facebook. He said that an average person on Facebook has 300 people listed as friends but socialized with hardly anyone except close acquaintances. The point is to make smart use of the social networking site.

He furthered the discussion by saying that privacy issues are huge in today's time; and large opportunities for mobile advertising can be created, if privacy issues could be tackled. Developers could make applications about locations that could easily float on social networking sites. For instance, the user could accept the location as part of the operating system.

Kumar made a rib-tickling comment, by saying that privacy issues are almost like a mother-in-law; and that some things are acceptable on the mobile. The biggest question, according to him, is about value proposition - that is, what value is provided to the customers? Kumar said that the concept of value is mystical by nature. There are many questions revolving around consumers, mobile advertising and mobile networking, but one should always look beyond the operators.

He stated that in India, that 80-90 per cent of data is generated dead. In a country like Turkey, 80 per cent of subscribers are prepaid; hence, certain advertisements offering value are permissible by taking the customer into confidence.

He opined that operators would realize that they were sitting on a gold mine, once they created user and usage profiles. Mobile internet has created a furore beyond imagination, he added.

Bhati opined that people believe in opting and that has helped the operators in building a strong base. In the Middle East, local language captures 85 per cent of feedback; while English gets a mere 15 per cent. So, advertisement based on location is a great idea.

He expressed that many companies use the internet to build brands. The combination of social networking, mobile advertising and location can bring unprecedented revenues. For operators, the profiles available on social networking and advertising can become a form of information.

Konduri declared that location would soon become a commodity. In India, the untapped businesses belong to local traders, for example, real estate agents. Local businesses have great opportunities via the medium, he said.

Kumar added that the data of traffic that comes from social networking is almost impossible to achieve. The truth, he said, is that social networking sites get regularly watched by the operators' inventory generated stuff, rather than the Google page. Inventory on mobile, especially driven by social networking, will take time to perform, he stated.