Where in the World?

Sometimes it’s nice to have your gutfeel confirmed and Comscore/M:Metrics’ latest findings do just that. They report that map usage is growing far more quickly in mobile that it is online; 82% on the US and 49% growth in Europe against single digit growth via the PC.

This feel right as the map on the mobile is a very cool tool indeed and naturally lends itself to personal navigation. I also think that the future direction of location based marketing is probably going to be around popping ads up on maps as they are viewed on mobile devices, although we’ll have to see how effective they might be. But this methodology certainly overcomes a lot of the other inherent issues surrounding LBM.

But before we get too excited about mapping on mobile though, let’s just also note that it’s very easy to achieve high percentage growth on anything from a low base. Today only about 8% of mobile owners use maps in the US and only 3% in Europe. This compares with usage online of around 45%, so we have a while to wait before the real potential of mobile, as opposed to PC, mapping can be judged.

However, if I had to make a bet on the future on one or the other, I’d say that mobile maps will be the clear longterm winner.

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