NEWS13 June 2012

Placed goes public with location analytics service

Data analytics North America

US— Placed has brought its location analytics service out of private beta and into public beta, hoping to drive uptake of its tool among mobile developers looking to know more about where their apps are being used.

CEO David Shim (pictured) wouldn’t disclose the number of app developers involved in the private beta, though he said that the company had recorded more than two billion measured locations since launch.

Placed works by pulling in location data from GPS, wi-fi and cellphone tower triangulation, as well as movement data from a smartphone’s accelerometer. This information is then matched to information on what businesses are nearby, and is fed into a dashboard.

The dashboard presents data on app use and location in a range of different formats. Nearby businesses can be viewed at both the category and brand level, while drilling down into the brand data allows developers to see how frequently their app is used in a McDonald’s, say, versus a direct competitor like Wendy’s.

Location data can also be overlaid on a Google map, though privacy safeguards mean Placed will only drill down to an area the size of a six-block radius.

To support the public beta launch, Shim and colleagues have pulled together the private beta data to look at location trends at an aggregate level. They found that app usage occurs three times more often near a Starbucks than a Dunkin Donuts at a national level, though that trend is reversed in Massachusetts while the competitors are more evenly matched in New York. The food and beverage category accounts for about 32% of all app usage locations, according to Placed, with shopping at 26%. The full results can be seen in an infographic.

Shim’s hope is that Placed will help app developers with their advertising sell and close the mobile monetisation gap, identified recently by Kleiner Perkins partner Mary Meeker, who told the All Things Digital D10 conference recently that the desktop-based internet attracts CPMs at five times the value of mobile.

Jeff Lanctot, the chief marketing officer of digital marketing services firm Razorfish, talked up Placed as “a unique offering and one that will be well received” after getting a taste of the data. He said: “App developers will use Placed Analytics to differentiate their inventory, and marketers will use it to better understand their mobile prospects and customers.”