Back in January, I wrote that 2010 would be “the year the mobile web really begins to matter.”
I thought it might be big. But boy was I wrong. It’s huge. The landscape of the web is tilting towards the small screen faster than I ever expected.
Allow me a brief anecdote: Last night at dinner, some friends were raving about their new phones. These are good friends, but hardly tech savvy, and successful in careers that don’t require them to be at a computer all day.
The ease with which they were now “persistently online” with their Droid X’s – checking email, catching up on Facebook and downloading apps – had caught them by surprise. They were hooked. I doubt very much they’ll spend much time in front of a traditional PC in the future.
Sure. This is one couple, in one town. Hardly a large sample, you say. But if you look at the big picture, I think this is an experience that is being replicated day-in, day-out, across America.
Let’s look at the numbers:
- According to comScore, 49.1 million Americans owned a smartphone at the end of May, an 8.1 percent increase from the previous three-month period.
- Google’s Android year-over-year growth is flabbergasting. Up 850 percent. This time last year, Android phones accounted for only 1.8 percent of the market. Today, it’s 17.2 percent.
- Apple’s iPhone is no slouch either. The latest iPhone 4 model sold a record 1.7 million units in just 3 days at launch. Seven weeks later? The phone still remains sold out at over half of Apple’s US retail stores.
Back in January, I suggested there were three ways you could start prepping yourself to react to this sea-change:
- Create a mobile web site. According to a recent survey, 80% of businesses across various industries are prepping mobile websites. What are you waiting for? Your competitors?
- Consider mobile advertising. According to the LA Times today, advertisers using Apple iAds are seeing truly remarkable results. Customers are interacting with the medium 10 times longer (over 90 seconds) than with comparable online ads.
Finally, I wrote that you should take mobile to its natural home: the streets. Integrate it in your existing offline marketing efforts. I suggested using shortened URLs on your for sale signs that would take people to a mobile version of your listing pages.
Well the guys behind Postlets were listening. And they’ve built something extremely cool.
Vyoo.it (pronounced “view it”) is a service just launched in beta that lets you create a mobile landing page for any of your existing property pages.
Login with your Facebook account and you’re ready to go. Drop a URL into the system and Vyoo.it will automatically stitch together a page with as much info as it can find: property details from Zillow, photos from the listing page and more. You can, of course, edit any of these at will.
It pulls all of this information together, along with your contact info, in a tight little mobile listing page complete with Google map, Walkscore and information on nearby schools from Education.com.
Vyoo has just single-handedly made the paper listing flyer obsolete.
You get a short URL that’s easy to share (e.g., http://vyoo.it/fw2rr) or print on your marketing materials or sign rider. You even get a QR code for each listing.
This is the kind of innovation that’s going to drive home adoption of the mobile web. Services that are simple – evolutionary, not revolutionary. Those that provide tangible benefits to both professional and consumer.
Services that make you stand and stare in wonder, like my dinner guests did, at that little computer in your hand.