AT&T and Foursquare have made separate moves designed to monetize location-based services. The carrier's AT&T Interactive unit will compete with Apple's iAd and Google's AdMob services by leveraging location technology to offer local advertising to help support application developers and publishers. Foursquare, meanwhile, has completed pacts to resell daily coupon deals from LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe and AT&T, according to a published report.
Google is introducing its own e-reader this weekend at Target stores, the first e-ink device that can access the book titles available through Google. The $139.99 device, the iRiver Story HD, has Wi-Fi connectivity and a physical keyboard and apparently targets Amazon's similar Kindle device.
Pepsi is thought to be the first CPG company to advertise Foursquare on TV and to incorporate the location tool in a global campaign. In TV ads, Pepsi urges viewers to follow the company on Foursquare and has designated locations worldwide where fans can check in to earn badges.
Mobile advertising has grown phenomenally in just a few years, from a measured 340 million ad impressions in the first quarter of 2007 to 23.2 billion exactly four years later. The outreach has been fueled by rapid consumer adoption of smartphones and tablets, which in turn has largely been a function of falling service costs, lower prices for ever more capable devices and fast 3G and 4G data transmission that render mobile content easily and quickly accessible.
AT&T expects to detail today its plans for a service that will allow companies to send text messages to users who elect to receive special offers. The location-based service, dubbed ShopAlerts by AT&T, has signed such brands as Hewlett-Packard, Kmart, JetBlue and S.C. Johnson to work with technology from Placecast, which uses geo-fencing to let the companies deliver messages to people in a given geographic area.