Enterprises to bet big on mobile social networks, LBS
Mobility has already become mainstream with an increased number of enterprises leveraging on this trend. In its recent report on the mobile trends, analyst firm Gartner said enterprises and marketers should start focusing on three upcoming trends in the coming years. These include mobile social networks, mobile applications stores and location-based services.
According to Gartner, mobile social networks are expected to attract a whopping one billion users by 2014 and will impact enterprises in the retail, education, healthcare and government sectors that interact with large communities as well as those in the pharmaceutical, transportation and utility sectors having a large, distributed client-facing workforce. The research found out while 15 percent of mobile phone users currently access social-networking sites through their phones.
However, as the market landscape is competitive, by 2015 the pure-play mobile social networking market will likely consolidate around five or fewer players.
According to Gartner, there will be an increased focus on the mobile applications stores having good distribution outlets and a large development community. These platforms will have better advertising support, user review, ranking and recommendation engines, and billing and reporting features.
LBS – a booming market
Gartner also predicted that the location-based services (LBS) industry is set for a big leap in the coming years and is expected to generate $13.5 billion revenue by 2015. The main trigger for LBS will be the phenomenal growth of mobile advertising, which is likely to increase twelve-fold by 2015 to $20.6 billion worldwide.
“Aided by a recovery in overall ad spending, the mobile advertising category has accelerated its evolution during the past year, despite lingering issues, such as privacy, metrics and standards,” commented Mike McGuire, research vice president at Gartner.
The analyst firm noted that more and more enterprises worldwide will leverage LBS to improve service delivery, customer support, workforce and marketing effectiveness. It further expects almost 800 million LBS users worldwide by the end of 2012. He added that applications that are likely to generate the highest interest in the next few years will be navigation, location search and finder/social networks.
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