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Monday, June 07, 2010

Advertising and Analytics Caught in the Cross-hairs

AT&T's move to metered data plans is going to have an interesting long-lasting effect on the Apple ecosystem. Apps that leverage services like advertisers and analytics companies who rely on transferring data to and from devices now have a new ingredient in the mix: reducing bytes transferred.

Those who have been paying attention to this already know what it's all about, but for different reasons. When we were putting together our analytics mobile SDKs at Webtrends, we were hyper-sensitive to many issues: privacy, flexibility, powerful reporting, efficiency, device battery life. It's those last two issues that forced us to be very efficient with the data we're transferring, and to take measures to only send data when it didn't interfere with the user experience in the app, or when the device battery was low.

But now the challenge is different. Mobile device users may not want to have extra services running in the background, eating up their precious bytes. And how do users keep track of this?

App developers will have new requirements of third party services, as they themselves are now having to factor in how much bandwidth their own apps are consuming. From this NYTimes article:
One of the biggest problems, app developers say, is that people are not sure how much bandwidth they are consuming with an app. AT&T customers will be able to track their data use on the company’s Web site and receive alerts when they near their quotas, but many customers are in the dark about how much data a particular app or video uses.

“They’re going to be reluctant now because they’re going to be thinking in the back of their mind that there’s a clock ticking about how long they can play this game,” said Brad Foxhoven, chief marketing officer and a founder of Ogmento, which makes augmented-reality games for the iPhone.

Developers will likely look to Apple to add new functionality to help them clearly articulate how much data is transferred, and how to be as efficient as possible with that data transfer.

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webtrends reinvigorate analytics