As retailers struggle to figure out the proper role for PDAs and cellphones in their merged channel and marketing strategies, it's good to know that there's strength--well, comfort at least--in numbers. An ABI Research report released Friday (Aug. 1) projected that "location-based mobile social networking revenues will reach $3.3 billion by 2013."
The service is defining that market as one that "allows users to share real-life experiences via geo-tagged user-generated multimedia content, exchange recommendations about places, identify nearby friends and set up ad hoc face to face meetings." As marketers fund such deployments, opportunities for helping consumers find storefronts and turn those locations into desired meeting places soars. Privacy concerns and licensing/revenue-sharing issues aside, this is something few retailers can afford to not watch closely--and creatively.