Back for a 3 minute segment on Bloomberg West today. This time, the rumored Facebook location tracking application prompted a discussion about location tracking or “persistent location” applications. I’ve written on this before and this, along with more personalization of location apps are my candidates for the big trends for 2013.
It started last year at SXSW, with a lot of buzz around Highlight and Glancee. Those companies didn’t have enough users or data on each user to make them really interesting (plus they sucked the battery dry). Since then Google has jumped in (Google Now), Apple is kind of in (Location features in Passbook) and now maybe Facebook will launch something next year. You could see Amazon in this space, maybe Yahoo! even. The key will be to have really good information on the user (so that you can actually figure out what is interesting to that person) and really good database technology so you can correlate all that info into a relevant offer before the user moves on.
There is a big opportunity here for the bigger database guys to work with retailers, grocery chains, and anyone who has a lot of data to build this out. SAP is working on Precision Retailing that is along those lines. I think that spreads out the location business beyond the current titans and opens a door for retailers to connect directly with consumers, leveraging their valuable data, rather than funneling it through someone else’s app.