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Mobile mushrooms for the masses

I blogged recently on the subject of the infuriating ‘downward scrolling’ ad that makes the use of hotmail for UK users about as pleasurable as getting stuck in a lift with (insert personal despised celebrity) – and was reminded again of the mushrooming nature of these ‘invasive’ ads last week as I dropped into an event to discuss next-gen mobile usage patterns.Personally, for me, the opportunity for mobile messaging to start carrying ads is not good news.

I blogged recently on the subject of the infuriating ‘downward scrolling’ ad that makes the use of hotmail for UK users about as pleasurable as getting stuck in a lift with (insert personal despised celebrity) – and was reminded again of the mushrooming nature of these ‘invasive’ ads last week as I dropped into an event to discuss next-gen mobile usage patterns.

Personally, for me, the opportunity for mobile messaging to start carrying ads is not good news. But then, I don’t live and breathe with my mobile as some do and recognise that I am now too old to develop anything but a passing fondness for my trusty Treo 650.

So forget my opinion – what does this industry think? Well, we’re moving to a point where globally we will see over three billion mobile units in peoples’ hands and this is contrast to a mere one billion PCs. So there is a certain inevitability for web access to spiral upwards on mobiles here isn’t there?

According to Geraldine Wilson, Yahoo!’s vice president for its Connected Life business in Europe the top four determining factors for mobile web access are:

1 – FREEDOM: people want to go anywhere and use their phones to access the web and keep their ‘cyber-dependency’ levels topped up (this actually does include me too).

2 – COST: connected gets cheaper all the time right?

3 – SPEED OF CONNECTION: also improving all the time.

4: FORM FACTOR: devices get better, work better and allow us to access the web better – simple, no argument there.

Flat rates for home and office broadband usage have boosted web usage to previously unimagined levels. Whole cities (or at least parts of them) are going wireless. The momentum is with us. Many argue that the same momentum is building for mobile.

“There have been many false dawns for Internet on the mobile device, but I believe we will look back on 2007 as things (across all four of the top determining factors) were really kick started,” said Yahoo!’s Wilson.

I can see shifts in the way technologies for mobile are developed taking on a new level of seasoning. Yes of course, it’s about optimising applications within the mobile device for an on-the-go web experience. But it’s also about making sure all applications are developed with an inherent embodiment of monetisation to make them commercially viable. Damn! I’m back to ads again. Maybe we’ll have to learn with a certain level of this if we want to use the web on the go.

I think you have to argue that things are moving now. If you want to read more about developing applications with refinements for mobile (that go beyond more fundamental considerations such as screen size and battery life) and that refine search for mobile with methodologies that we did not employ a decade ago (even if we did know about some of them) then you can visit http://mobile.yahoo.com/go