New market research suggests location based services are going to take off in a big way. According to the research published in eMarketer, the current 12 million subscribers to location based services will skyrocket to more than 300 million in the next five years. Location based services mean you integrate Global Positioning Services (GPS) within your mobile phone enhanced web site. So, for instance, if someone visiting your web site wants to know how close they are to your office, a GPS device will tell them. Equally, if you run a restaurant web site, people will be able to find you based more upon their location – i.e. they could look for a restaurant within walking distance of their hotel. If you have location based services within your web site, you’ll come top of their search. More fruitfully, advertisers will be able to push specific adverts onto mobile phones based on the location of the handset. However, be warned. When TV on mobiles was first mooted, market research showed an enormous take up. Ten years later, suppliers are struggling to get take-up. Location based services could suffer the same fate. It may be difficult for users to give up the feeling of control they have. If location based services push advertising based on location too much, the chances are users will reject it because of the lack of apparent control. And that means the predictions of millions of subscribers could be wrong.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+