Apple’s release of its new mobile operating system last month came with an overlooked gift for marketers: the ability to retarget ads based on users’ in-app browsing behaviors.
According to ad agencies, Apple is actively pitching the new capability as a way to effectively solve the mobile cookie problem.
Say, for example, a visitor to a retailer’s iPhone app adds a pair of shoes to his cart but ultimately decide not to buy it. In this scenario, the retailer will now be able to retarget that user with an ad for that exact pair — even in another app on his iPad. When tapped, the ad would direct him back to his abandoned checkout page and automatically add the shoes to his online shopping cart.
“One of the big limitations of not just iAd, but the entire iOS ecosystem, is that cookies don’t work,” said Eric Franchi, co-founder of cross-device ad network Undertone. IOS is the operating system on which Apple devices run. “If Apple can bring very advanced targeting combined with e-commerce, it will be incredibly powerful.”
E-commerce companies are a particular focus for the new feature as it enables them to retarget users across Apple devices based on items they have previously expressed interest in. E-commerce apps can also track the items shoppers add to their digital wishlists and send ads for those items when they go on sale, and target ads based upon a person’s shopping history.
The Middle East and Africa (MEA) handset market grew to its largest size in ten quarters in Q2 2014, expanding 27% year on year to total 64 million units. The latest insights from global advisory and consulting services firm International Data Corporation (IDC) show that the majority of this growth was seen in the smartphone category, with a major shift underway in the composition of the market. Indeed, smartphone share of the overall MEA handset market jumped 13 percentage points year on year to reach 40% in Q2 2014, with that figure reaching as high as 75–80% in some of the region’s more developed countries.
Within Africa, Egypt and South Africa posted the largest year-on-year handset shipment growth, at 37% and 32%, respectively. In the Middle East, that honor was taken by the UAE and Qatar, with respective growth of 27% and 32%. “The growth seen in countries like Egypt is due to ongoing economic and political recovery, while for countries like the UAE and Qatar that are still benefiting from successful bids to host Expo 2020 and FIFA 2022, it is simply the result of increased consumer demand stemming from economic growth and tourism,” says Nabila Popal, research manager with IDC’s Systems and Infrastructure Systems Group.
The remaining MEA countries also posted growth over the same quarter in 2013, despite some — such as Iraq and Syria — experiencing extreme levels of instability. “This universal growth is unique to this technology segment,” continues Popal. “This is because phones are no longer simply a means of communication between people. Indeed, smartphones are becoming a way of expression and a window to the rest of the world, and this aspect is proving particularly important in lesser developed countries that are suffering from unrelenting political turmoil.”
Scientists and businesses often encounter difficulties in analysing huge data sets, otherwise known as “Big Data”. Its size is forever changing across many landscapes, with the amount of data created each day constantly increasing – now four times faster than the world economy. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, which is enough to fill 10 million Blu-Ray discs, which in turn is enough to make a stack the size of 4 Eiffel Towers. Big doesn’t seem to be quite ‘big’ enough a word to describe how data is evolving.
The most astonishing thing about Big Data is the speed at which it is increasing. 90% of the world’s data, for example, was created in the last 2 years alone. The number of people with access to the internet today is equal to the world’s entire population in 1960 (3 billion). Global communication has never been easier and it might not come as much of a shock that there are 204 million emails sent per minute. But there are also 216,000 Instagram posts and 217,000 tweets. This is social and business conversation at its best.
The data collected through all these interactions is helping to shape the way we live our lives. As you can see below in the data graphic by vouchercloud it is helping us to save money (comparison websites, reducing energy bills, monitoring our fuel consumption and tailored coupons based on our previous spending habits). It is helping us to get around more efficiently – urban transport is improved using real time data capture and managing traffic hotspots by changing bus routes or traffic light sequences to ease congestion. Even more topical and important, it is helping us to save lives; streaming patient data to recognise outbreaks of illnesses and disease, identifying those at risk and managing the costs of treating patients.
Data is improving and expanding across mobile, digital media and social media, and Big Data is innovating the future ahead of us.
With the relaunch of Bloomberg Politics this week, Bloomberg is extending Businessweek’s polarizing design aesthetic further into the Web. With splashy homepage visuals, Businessweek-esque pull quotes and a continuous scrolling feature that mimics page turning, the new site feels less like a purely digital site and more like a digital version of the Businessweek print magazine itself.
And Bloomberg is not alone. Publishers across the Web are taking more digital-design cues from their print brethren. Yahoo, for example, calls its tech, food and travel sites “magazines,” and Flipboard also leans heavily on print cues by mimicking page-flipping and by letting readers curate their own custom magazines — covers and all. It’s an approach that Apple also took with its own Newsstand and iBooks apps, which also try to replicate the experience of reading off paper.
Computerworld is seeking to identify the 100 top workplaces for IT professionals for our 22d annual Best Places to Work in IT list. We invite Computerworld readers, HR and PR professionals and other interested parties to nominate organizations, in any industry, that they think are providing great working environments for IT employees, including challenging work, fair pay and ample training opportunities. Nominate a company now through Dec. 14, 2014: https://response.questback.com/idg/bpnoms15/
Computerworld’s 2015 IT Salary Survey: What’s your earning power? How does your salary compare with your IT peers? Computerworld’s 29th Annual IT Salary Survey will feature the latest IT salary trends and advice on where to find the best-paying jobs. This year’s survey participants can enter a drawing to win one of 3 American Express Gift cards for $500! The drawing is open to legal U.S. residents, age 18 or older.
Take our annual Salary Survey today!
Have a look at your smartphone apps. Notice anything peculiar about the ads? In the majority of cases, the only things they’re advertising are … other apps.
Estimates vary, but analysts say a significant majority of ads in mobile apps simply promote other apps. Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, pegs the total at between 60% and 75%; mobile ad company Fiksu says it’s between 50% and 85%, depending on the time of year.
What does all this mean for the future of the app business? If most of the advertising dollars are coming from within the industry, is this a bubble about to burst?
Quite the opposite, industry experts say — the numbers show app makers and advertisers simply haven’t yet figured out how to tap this promising business.
Mobile apps overtook desktop browsers earlier this year as the dominant means by which Americans access the Internet.