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Banner Ads Give Way to Rich Media as Mobile Monetization Continues to Climb

A year ago, it was social media marketing that was growing and changing right before our hours. Now that the dust has settled somewhat, it’s mobile’s turn.

The State of Mobile Advertising report from Opera shows big changes in a short period of time as advertisers learn to take advantage of the mobile landscape.

Opera cataloged the ad types on their network comparing January of this year to June. Take a look:

In six short months, expandable banner ads decreased by half and video more than doubled. The big news is in HTML5 Rich Media ads, which are slowly taking over mobile advertising. These are the ads that feature video, slideshows, music, and interactive elements. This is good because interactivity equals engagement and that equals more time spent with your brand.

Foursquare Business Update Lets You Talk to Your Followers

Over the past few months, Foursquare has completely reinvented itself as a discovery engine. Check-ins are still a huge part of the app, but now they’re not just for fun and bragging, now Foursquare is a useful tool for both customers and business.

The newest feature is Local Updates. It’s a system that allows businesses to send in-app messages to their most loyal customers. On the user side, these messages show up in the friends feed and there’s an option to shut them off (so don’t get heavy handed with your postings.)

On the business side, Foursquare has upgraded their merchant dashboard so it’s easier to read and use.

eBay’s Mobile Shopping Numbers Are Impressive

While many are trying to figure out the best way to get the most from the mobile world that we now live in, it looks like eBay may be an early champion to look to for ideas. The trouble is, not everybody has the advantage that eBay does in the space so maybe this is just something to be admired rather than replicated?

All Things D reports

In what is becoming a routine move, the company said [yesterday] during its second-quarter earnings release that it is now expecting eBay and PayPal mobile to each transact $10 billion in volume this year.

“That’s more than double 2011,” said eBay’s CEO John Donahoe, who called it “a staggering surge” in mobile commerce that did not exist just a few years ago.

69 Percent of Mobile Users Won’t Leave Home Without It

The next time you’re out in public, take a moment to notice how many people are using their mobile phones. Grocery store, train station, walking in the park. Two people sitting across from each other at a restaurant — both using their phones. On the freeway (yikes!)  And don’t forget those people who appear to be talking to themselves. They’re using an earbud, so they’re probably never off the phone.

Of course, all these people aren’t on a call. They’re texting and playing Words with Friends, and they’re looking for a place to have lunch, or a new pair of shoes.

A new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) shows that 69% of mobile phone users never leave home without their trusty mobile companion. For many, it’s become an extension of their arm and there are days when even I wonder how I managed without one.

More than Half of All Mobile Phone Owners Own a Smartphone

There are three of us in my household and two of us own smartphones. My husband is the only one with a feature phone and yesterday he was talking about upgrading. He’s the rare bird that only uses his phone to make calls and text but lately he’s been eying some of the apps I have on my phone and he’s close to making the switch.

According to Nielsen, more American phone owners are making the switch than ever before, with 2 out of 3 choosing a smartphone over a feature phone in the past three months.

Who knew my family was so typical? I never would have guessed.

As of June 2012, smartphones were in the hands of 54.9% of all U.S. mobile phone subscribers. Android is still leading the pack in sales due to their wide variety and lower price points.

The Rise of Couch Commerce (Infographic)

Online sales by way of a tablet has been dubbed Couch Commerce, but could as easily be called Bed Commerce since nearly equal numbers of people do it from either location. Then again, I suppose people could easily misconstrue “Bed Commerce” so it’s probably best that we stick with the couch.

The furniture in this equation is important because it represents a shift in how we shop online. There’s a psychological difference between sitting down at a desk and firing up the PC to shop, and sitting on the couch shopping while you watch TV in the evening. The size of the tablet and the touch screen makes it more engaging and since you’re sitting there watching a Storage Wars marathon anyway, there’s no need to rush. In other words, tablets turn shopping into entertainment and we humans do love to be entertained. (As evidenced by the fact that we’re watching Storage Wars.)

Simon and Schuster Links Online and Offline with Book Cover QR Codes

Remember QR codes? We haven’t talked about them in awhile because. . . well. . . the only people that seem to care about them are the corporations who stick them on everything.

Publisher Simon & Schuster is one of those corporations. They’re putting QR codes on the back cover of their new  releases. Why? They figure people will scan them, visit their website, and maybe sign up for a newsletter which they’ll get by email.

Yeah, good luck with that.

S&S does get props for their attempts to mix offline and online readers. They have a number of excellent, book related mobile apps and according to PaidContent, 26% of their sales are now digital. Nice, but I still don’t see how the QR code fits into the mix.