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Social Media Update – March 1, 2011

March 1, 2011

Good morning. AT&T rolled out a new service yesterday that allows businesses to push you offers once you walk into a “digital fence” around a retail location. Think “Paint Sale” messaging as soon as you walk through the doors of The Home Depot. You have to download the app prior to being hit with any offers, and currently it’s only offered in a few major markets. With all the advancements in digital data aggregation we’re all asking ourselves how comfortable we feel about having that much information floating around the internet. Well, at least I am. There are companies willing to brokerage your personal details online and companies that will pay you on a per use basis for your personal information. The tracking industry remains lightly regulated, and entrepreneurs are looking to capitalize with new services offering more privacy protection and techniques aimed at throwing tracking software off. Forrester just released a study that shows E-Commerce to reach nearly $300 billion in the US by 2015. The projections rely heavily on the growing popularity of smartphones and social group buying sites like Groupon and Living Social. Enjoy.

I. AT&T Rolls Out Location-Based Ad Messages,, February 28, 2011
II. Web’s Hot New Commodity: Privacy,, February 28, 2011
III. Forrester: E-Commerce To Reach Nearly $300 Billion in U.S. by 2015 [STATS],, February 28, 2011

I. AT&T Rolls Out Location-Based Ad Messages,, February 28, 2011
AT&T launched a new service Monday that shoots you special offers over your mobile phone when you’re near a participating store or brand. The service, called ShopAlert, is launching with the backing of Hewlett-Packard, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles ‘n Bits and others. AT&T claims this is the first time a major operator in the U.S. is introducing such a program on a large scale. ShopAlert, developed with Placecast, is currently available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. To get the service, consumers are directed to sign up at a dedicated site.

II. Web’s Hot New Commodity: Privacy,, February 28, 2011
As the surreptitious tracking of Internet users becomes more aggressive and widespread, tiny start-ups and technology giants alike are pushing a new product: privacy. Companies including Microsoft Corp., McAfee Inc.—and even some online-tracking companies themselves—are rolling out new ways to protect users from having their movements monitored online. Some are going further and starting to pay people a commission every time their personal details are used by marketing companies. “Data is a new form of currency,” says Shane Green, chief executive of a Washington start-up, Personal Inc. , which has raised $7.6 million for a business that aims to help people profit from providing their personal information to advertisers.

III. Forrester: E-Commerce To Reach Nearly $300 Billion in U.S. by 2015 [STATS],, February 28, 2011
After a healthy 12.6% increase to $176.2 billion in 2010, U.S. online retail sales are expected to reach $278.9 billion in 2015. Online shopping will continue to cannibalize in-store shopping as consumers become more familiar and begin, in many cases, to prefer the convenience of online shopping, Forrester says. Increased Internet connectivity via devices like smartphones, tablets and game consoles will also drive growth, as well as new e-commerce models like flash sales (i.e. Gilt Groupe, Neiman Marcus Mid-Day Dash), daily deals (Groupon, LivingSocial) and digital downloads of media (Netflix, iTunes), all of which have enjoyed rapid adoption in recent years.

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