Led by the iPhone and now other smartphones (and devices such as the iPad), mobile web traffic is increasing exponentially and many expect it to surpass desktop web usage in the near future. So what does that mean for web site designers and advertisers?
For one, Flash is still out of the picture. Apple, especially, has steadfastly refused to embrace Flash for their iPod (and iPad) platform. Even Google’s Android (currently) does not support it. So, every web site and banner ad based on Flash is basically unreadable by smartphone browsers. If you’re not taking this into account in your internet marketing efforts, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
How about other rich media advertising platforms? Whatever technology you use, it behooves you to test it on the iPhone and other popular smartphones. For example, for almost a year now, PointRoll now offers distribution of its rich-media ads on the iPhone. Microsoft, similarly, has recently demonstrated streaming Silverlight videos on the iPhone.
Over the course of 2010 there will be many new announcements of mobile web technologies and platforms, but between now and when those are adopted, we as marketers need to understand who is visiting our target sites and distribute our content accordingly. Otherwise, a good portion of our intended audience will be excluded for no reason other than our inattention.
Microsoft’s Silverlight platform has been gaining ground as a rich internet platform. The installed base of Silverlight has been consistently growing, reaching over 30% of computers this summer. Moreover, Microsoft recently released version 3.0, which adds many new features for developers and media providers. For example, Silverlight 3 (and Microsoft’s Media Services 3.0) supports streaming video in high definition (1080p). And in 2010, Microsoft will enhance digital rights management (DRM) capabilities, making it easy for content providers to distribute their media digitally. Moreover, Microsoft is pushing Silverlight along many other fronts. It is now supported on the Xbox and on a number of Nokia phones. It will also be supported on all Windows 7.0 mobile phones (2010).
Silverlight is fast becoming a great cross-platform development platform. And Microsoft is making it easier for legions of individuals and small businesses to develop Silverlight applications by giving away development tools under its WebSpark program.
The next 18 months should prove very interesting in the number and type of applications being developed and delivered using Silverlight. The possibilities available to marketers should be just as interesting.
Domus, Inc. is a marketing communications company based in Philadelphia, with a development network that includes expertise in a number of areas, including Silverlight. Please visit our web site at http://www.domusinc.com.