Loopt, CBS Mobile, and Location Based Services


A year and a half ago I sat in a conference room in Discovery HQ when their CMO at the time turned to me and asked what I thought the biggest trend in emerging platforms would be for 2007 and without hesitation I blurted out Location Based Services.

Okay so I was off bigtime.

But my crush on LBS has been ongoing for a while now, ever since I watched my former Simplewire co-founder triangulate locations through cell towers via SMS 7 years ago.

My obsession continued, amplified bigtime upon my introduction to Joe Waltman and the Boost team last year. When I was able to see Loopt in action for the first time, I saw what I knew was going to be a major hit. The Boost commercials validated my assumptions.

At the time, Boost had some form of exclusivity on Loopt. No longer, as Sprint is in on the game now. Sam Altman, Loopt CEO is currently negotiating with other carriers to bring his services to their customers.

So imagine my giddyness this evening as I stumbled upon Jamie Wells’ blog post on a CBS Mobile/Loopt LBS Ad deal. I’m not going to regurgitate Jamie’s POV so instead I’ll link to it here.

Okay great, I can find friends, and serve ads that lead people to my client’s products/services. But where’s the excitement? Well it’s in the numbers my friends:

  • There are some 130 million GPS-capable handsets are in use in the US
  • Approximately 13 million mobile consumers downloaded a mobile application on their phone.
  • LBS accounted for 51% of the $118 million generated in revenue by downloadable mobile applications such as LBS, weather applications, chat/community, and personal organization tools.

As it stands today, LBS has been used primarily for directions. With the Loopt deal, we’ll begin to see mainstream embrace “LSS” or Location Social Services

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