Strong and insightful column by Keith Teare, on the slow demise of desktop Internet traffic and the rise of mobile traffic and how it is an important and urgent issue to monetize the latter:
There is a new law emerging in cyberspace. As desktop traffic growth declines, and mobile adoption explodes, predatory marketers need to monetize mobile traffic or die trying.
As this law takes hold, bad behavior is replacing smart long-term product thinking. The result is an explosion of unnatural acts of engagement. Facebook allows users to escape its filters (designed to give a good experience) by paying to force their Facebook posts in front of their friends — $7 a time and you’re golden. Twitter sends constant reminders about “what you missed” on its service. Google Plus has notification defaults set to a level that results in constant stream of inane emails.
7. Intimacy and long-term relationships are a forgotten goal.
The essence of good behavior is to start by helping the user achieve a goal. The essence of a mobile device is that it is intimate. Unlike a screen on the wall, where an ad can be irritating, but understandable; or a screen on your desk where a well placed and content-targeted ad can be even helpful; a mobile ad is almost always an intrusion due to the behavior it interrupts being mostly personal and intimate. Of course this is compounded by the real estate it steals from the small screen. The short-term revenue win from displaying an ad is offset by the long-term relationship damage done between the user and the publisher showing the ad. The sense of being a “target” rather than a person is a growing experience, as our sensibilities are increasingly offended.