Skyhook’s New Location Platform Delivers Context, Personalization
Context Accelerator offers range of features to app developers.
Boston based Skyhook Wireless today announced what it’s calling “Context Accelerator,” a set location-driven capabilities that help mobile developers and publishers use mobile-location more easily and for a wider range of purposes.
Skyhook built the original hybrid WiFi/GPS/cell-tower database that was used by Google and Apple for location before each developed their own derivative systems.
(Google and Skyhook are currently in litigation with the latter asserting multiple patent infringement claims against Google.)
There are four principal features of the new Context Accelerator”platform”:
- Infinite Geofences: developers can set geofences around “any number of brand locations or 2000+ venue categories using industry-standard IAB and Google AdWords.” This means messages, notifications or ads can be triggered when users enter a geofence anywhere.
- Personas: essentially enables defining of audience segments based on location history (a number of others do this as well)
- Hyperlocal IP: this is a general improvement of IP targeting that combines WiFi and GPS data with IP matching.
- My.Skyhook: a web-based UI for app developers and advertisers for “building, managing and analyzing Skyhook-powered projects.”
Skyhook is very careful to point out that with all of this it’s privacy compliant and that audiences are identified and segmented on an anonymous basis.
The broad idea is to enable developers to provide more personalized and “context-specific” experiences to improve engagement, relevance and app-user retention. An obvious example of this is something like “store mode” for a retail app.
Right now most retail apps are small-screen e-commerce experiences, with some exceptions. Adding this functionality could enable a totally different set of features and functions if the app knew the user were at the store. On top of that it could be further personalized for the individual shopper.
Skyhook has a number of case studies that show improved metrics for mobile advertising and retail apps. The example provided in the press materials (for an unnamed “leading retail app”) says that after Context Accelerator integration it saw, “[a] significant increase in user engagement metrics, including: a 2x lift in average session length, 57% growth in daily active users and 79% growth in sessions per day.”
As indicated above some of these capabilities, especially audience segmentation via location history, are being offered or utilized by multiple providers and platforms including Factual, xAd, NinthDecimal, YP, 4Info, Thinknear and others. However Skyhook argues that its first-party network of location access points is a major differentiator in terms of location accuracy.
Recently location-based ad platform Thinknear calculated that only 46 percent of returned location requests were accurate to within 100 meters or less. But even this represents a big improvement over previous years.