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Mobile product search coming of age says Google

Telefonica has launched what it says is the world’s first telco-powered real-time mobile advertising exchange platform

Web giant Google is waxing lyrical about the potential for mobile advertising, predicting that 44 per cent of UK searches for last minute Christmas gifts in 2011 will be from mobile devices, up from 20 per cent this time last year.

Over the last few months, Google also found that mobile is accounting for an increasingly larger proportion of online shopping, with an analysis of UK search on desktop versus mobile finding that mobile search for products towards the end of the year represented just under 15 per cent of the online total, compared to ten per cent in 2010 and just two per cent in 2008.

Moreover, around 24 per cent of UK consumers use their mobiles for in-store comparison of products and Google has noticed that retailers are beginning to embrace this phenomenon, with UK department store John Lewis recently activating free wifi in its shops.

Simon Morgan, head of mobile advertising for Google UK said: “As more and more consumers use their mobile phones to do their holiday research and shopping, there is a great opportunity for businesses to reach their customers where they are; on mobile. Advertisers can take advantage of innovative mobile ad features to drive people to their web properties, increase footfall, or even grow phone traffic. For example, hyperlocal provides useful information to users such as an expandable map, driving directions, distance and contact information with the option to click-to-call, making it easy for customers to find and navigate to your store.”

A newly activated feature on Google’s mobile advertising platform, AdMob, allows advertisers to serve ads specifically to newly activated mobiles. Accounting for Android growth alone, there are around 550,000 Android devices being activated each day globally.

In related news, mobile advertising player Blyk has announced the departure of its co-founder, Antti Őhrling, who has moved on to work on “emerging opportunities”.

Őhrling co-founded Blyk as an MVNO in with Pekka Ala-Pietilä in 2006 and helped refocus the company as a mobile ad platform shortly after. He was also instrumental in the firm’s partnership with Indian carrier Airtel.

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