Google’s recent post about “Adsense for Conversations” is my favorite April Fools antic this year.
The fictitious Adsense for Conversations is powered by an “unobtrusive screen above your head” where “Anyone taking part in the conversation can hit the ad with their hand to immediately take advantage of the product or service being offered.”
While the thought of monetizing conversations about dinner plans, appointments, and general office banter is awesome, it got me thinking “could Google really monetize conversations with contextual advertising?”
Google needs only two elements to serve contextual advertising; a screen to display ever changing ads and data to match contextually with ads. The most logical place to find both of these things in the world of conversation is the phone.
In 2006, Reuters reported that Eric Schmidt “sees a future where mobile phones are free to consumers who accept watching targeted forms of advertising.”
Advertising supported mobile services is an interesting idea. Look at a few ads and dial away.
Of course, the success of such a model relies on the ads being as targeted as possible. Enter contextual advertising.
By using voice recognition technology to identify key phrases, an ad network could serve contextually based advertising using conversations. Imagine seeing an ad for a mechanic’s shop in your neighborhood right after a conversation with your brother about your car troubles.
Legal and privacy hurtles aside, perhaps the idea of Adsense for Conversations isn’t that far fetched. Minus the stylish hat anyways.