In real estate, location is everything and it’s pretty important when it comes to marketing, too. According to a study by Pyramid Research, location-based revenue in the US is expected to climb from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $10.3 billion in 2015.
A big chunk of that change will go out to location-based advertising, which, according to Pyramid, is the fastest growing segment. They expect it to be responsible for 60% of the location-based service revenue by 2015. Within that, local search is key.
“Not only are navigation applications moving to a search-funded model, but there are also a wide range of other companies looking to capitalize on the growth of local search, including start-ups (such as Poynt and Yelp), local business advertising specialists (such as Yellow Pages) and vertical aggregators (such as toptable and HotelBooker).”
When talking about geo-location apps such as Foursquare, people often express concern about their personal safety. If a person checks in at the movies, everyone now knows they won’t be home for hours, and then there’s that ex-boyfriend who doesn’t understand the meaning of a restraining order.
On the flipside, “people finding” services are on the rise as more parents use the technology to track their mobile teens and protect their toddlers at the playground. Then there are options such as On Star that can use your location to send out help instantly in the case of an emergency. There’s definitely more good than bad in knowing where a person is at all times. Unless, of course, you’re some place you’re not supposed to be or you’re Al Franken.
Earlier this month, the Senator introduced a bill called the Location Protection Privacy Act which includes stiff penalties for creating “stalking apps” and the sale of location data related to children. It also calls for a study on how location apps are being used in stalking and domestic violence cases and training for law enforcement in the handling and prosecution of crimes related to this kind of data.
Certainly, I support a bill that keeps this kind of data from being used to harass or harm another human being, but if my child ever goes missing, I want to be able to track his phone without any interference from the government or the law.
What do you think? Will location-based services continue to thrive, or will it get bogged down in miles of government red-tape.