Innovation is taking place in the internet, daily. Disruptions are happening and a new order is being formed. Industrial age companies continue to adapt, even as new firms redesign the structure of commerce and industry.
Anywhere you look, from Facebook recent changes on email messaging to Twitter introduction of more feedbacks, the web is alive and healthy. But it is changing and becoming more fragmented. Interoperability exists only at the point of connections and networking, after that, everyone takes a different path. Today, the big web entities are creating their own structures.
Google’s Chrome is unique and very different from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The same applies to Opera, Mozilla’ Firefox and Apple’s Safari. It is amazing how building proprietary web platforms around products have become a competitive strategy. While Facebook lives on the web, most of its contents reside within its boundaries. Search engines are not happy about that.
That old cohesive internet platform has given way to fragmentation with more proprietary ‘gateways’. We have seen new mobile devices that are connecting us to the web. The transformation is so much that reliable assessment of internet hits could be challenging. It is common to see statistics that are off by millions from different companies for one site, within the same timeframe. Indeed, no one can blame them because they can measure based on their understanding of the gateways.
So, can a marketing director decide to buy ads which can be delivered to those that use iPhone to access the web? The ad will be web-based but can only be shown to users who access the web via iPhone. Going to that platform-based advertising will open opportunities to target customers not just by location, but by the device they use to access the web. What if I want Facebook to show my ads only to those that are visiting the site via Windows operating system? My product runs only on Windows and there is no reason to waste ad buys on Linux, Mac and Unix users.
We are already witnessing some of these innovations, albeit at infancy stage. It could result to higher efficiency in ad delivery, though cost of ads will increase. Previously, an ad buy in Google could serve most of the web. Today, you need to have different versions for Facebook, Twitter, and then Google. Of course, there are other channels. Twitter cannot be used in Facebook because the latter has built its own platform. Google is being cut-off by some other big players. Proprietary platforms make it difficult for Google to have that speed to push ad since they must first receive ‘permissions’ from owners of the platforms before their ads are hosted. And most are not open to that. So, everyone has to develop and nurture its platform, driving more innovations. The whole constructs of network effects where the more the users, the better the value of the web solutions is a reflection of the advertising model.
In conclusion, as the web fragments on the platform bases, the ways businesses reach consumers must get creative. The proliferation and uniqueness of platforms provide an opportunity to target the right customer even at a very good budget. Instead of throwing ads into the deep ocean of the web, platforms can help deliver them, efficiently. After all, it does not make much sense to show Mac downloads ads to someone surfing the web with Windows.
Originally published at IGI Global