Recently at CES TapSense, a mobile marketing firm, announced a new software platform which makes ads on your wrist a reality in the very near future. Initial reactions from consumers to this software aren’t positive. I’m definitely not surprised by their reactions, but I’m surprised they didn’t see this coming.
Nearly everything we interact with online gathers information on our likes and dislikes. Hell, Facebook has made trainloads of money by tracking our “likes” for years now. It’s not by pure chance the sidebar on your Facebook news feed resembles things you like or how it displays products you’ve searched for over the past few days or weeks.
The fact of the matter is, businesses are constantly looking for innovative ways to tap into where you’re at and what you’re looking for to find a way into your wallet. Software developers are simply producing a pathway which allows businesses to find their way onto hot new wearable tech millions of people are chomping at the bit to get their hands on. These pathways will eventually lead to you pulling out your wallet.
Does the thought of an ad appearing on my future Watch seem extremely annoying? Absolutely, but I completely understanding why businesses want to advertise on it. Wearable tech just might be the next big thing in smart devices and a lot of businesses don’t want to miss an opportunity to make money it.
The TapSense SDK introduces different interactive ad formats which use location targeted ads while also taking advantage of the conveniences of Pay. This developers kit takes advantage of a lot of fun and exciting features the Watch comes equipped with, which nearly every user will enable. The likes to which you’ll see the ads will probably depend on what third-party apps you download for your device. In some cases, you might be presented with a coupon right on your Watch that’s redeemable at a store near your current location.
Where will you see these ads the most? Well, since I don’t have an Watch yet, I would have to assume any free app you download could be riddled with them. Why? Because they’re free and they need to make money from you somehow, so they’ll present you with ads every so often while interacting with the app or if it’s running in the background.
Other apps you might see them in could be those like the Starbucks app through the use of iBeacon, as long as you give an app permission to access location services on your iPhone. When you’re near a location, you might receive an ad reminding you of the benefits of being a Gold member and how you’re only 5 drinks away from achieving this wonderful status. This just might coax you in for a tasty beverage. Would an ad like this be positive or negative since it unlocks something you’re actively working towards?
Unfortunately, we’re never going be completely free of advertising. We all have wants and needs and companies want and need our money. Apple knows this and they already allow third-party developers to monetize their ads through the use of iAds. There’s no word yet on whether or not iAds will be permitted in third-party app development for the Watch, but I think we all know the answer.
The fact of the matter is, you’re either going to buy the full version of an app for the Watch to remove the ads or you’re going to download apps to get access to money-saving coupons, which will eventually target you with ads. Eventually we all will get used to their tactics and figure out our own way to avoid them or take advantage of them while putting up with minor inconveniences.
Personally, I can’t remember the last time I purposefully tapped on an ad in an app or online for that matter. I guess I just don’t pay that much attention to them. If I am tapping them, it takes up such a small part of my online interactions that it makes zero impression on me.
I remember when YouTube introduced ads to videos; I was furious. Guess how much I watch YouTube now compared to before they had ads? If you guessed way more than ever, you’re exactly right. I’ve accepted the fact that ads are going to be there whether I like it or not and YouTube has something I want to see so I simply must deal with it. Until there’s a better option out there, I’ll continue to grin and bear it.
If you plan on purchasing an Watch, you’re going to try to figure out how it best suits you and your lifestyle. It may introduce you to completely new ways of doing things or offer you zero benefit whatsoever. If ads find their way over to the device, I’m certain you’ll find a way to make them stop. In the end, I don’t think ads are going to make or break your overall happiness with the Watch. You’ll do what we always do, adapt and overcome or simply delete the app annoying you with ads.
*This is the 10th article in the writing from my iPad series.