In today's digitally connected world information is constantly being updated, so there's always a market for products that can manage this influx of news and activity. As more people use mobile devices there needs to be a way to manage information that doesn't involve downloading a variety of apps or add-ons. One such tool, the Home Screen, is designed to replace a mobile device's user interface so when someone unlocks or turns on their phone, they see a steady stream of social updates instead of a background with apps.
Greg Wester is the EVP of Business Development and GM of Research and Data Products at Mobile Posse and Jon Jackson is the company's CEO. Mobile Posse is at the forefront of this information management change with their own home screen product and they spoke with CMSWire about this development and the role their company is playing.
Katie Ingram: How are marketers building mobile experiences today?
Jon Jackson: Brands and marketers are wisely realizing that their customers are spending more and more time on mobile. In fact, recent research from Nielsen Mobile has shown that consumers spend more time on their mobile device each day than any other media device. That said, the typical approach to mobile is to slim down a website or ad to be mobile-optimized and/or create a mobile app and a smaller number of firms extend that to explore push notifications or local targeting.
KI: How have mobile and mobile UIs changed in the past few years and what's driving that change?
Greg Wester: Many ways. Certainly you see device screens getting larger and data speeds getting faster, so the result is that experiences are getting richer and more interactive. I believe the biggest change is the movement towards the home screen as the place for that interactivity and the driver behind all of this is the consumer and how they use their devices. Unlike TV and the PC or Tablet, the mobile device is used sporadically in short bursts throughout the day or “found time”. So, if that’s how we use our device, we need new UI modalities to simplify our experience.
KI: What is the home screen and how does it fit into this change?
JJ: The home screen is the beachfront real estate of mobile. It’s the first screen a user sees when they unlock their device and it is the beginning and often the end of every mobile experience. It drives massive awareness, but comes with a lot of responsibility as it must be done well and respect the user. Mobile Posse’s Active Home Screen, Amazon’s Kindle, Windows’ Live Tiles, HTC’s Blink Feed and even Facebook Home are all examples of how more and more content is being brought to the device home screen. As was mentioned, when we have a few spare minutes, we pick up our smartphones to see what we’ve missed, or to go find something interesting to fill our idle time. There’s no better way to fill that idle time and to delight the consumer than to bring what they might want directly to the first screen they see. This area of UI development will be the next wave in mobile.
Mobile Posse Home Screen
KI: How does this home screen technology benefit the everyday user? Content publishers? Marketers?
GW: If done properly it can bring useful and beneficial information directly to the consumer. It surfaces the things a given user cares about most based on demographics, expressed interests and derived interests.
JJ: The benefit for consumers is simplicity and convenience. When done correctly this consumer convenience also delivers significant benefits to both publishers and marketers. For publishers, if you find your home on the home screen, it translates into incremental traffic and brand loyalty. In the digital world where there’s traffic, there’s ad dollars, so content on the top screen ultimately drives top line revenue by creating compelling marketing opportunities for brands and their agencies.
KI: How does Mobile Posse's Home Screen work compared to its competitors, such as Facebook Home and HTC’s Blinkfeed?
GW: Our platform is a holistic solution for delivering messages to the home screen, with a targeting engine that delivers the right message at the right time. In contrast to basic push solutions like Facebook Home and Blinkfeed, Mobile Posse’s solution provides a flexible platform that’s built to provide key utility to a broader range of stakeholders. We put the consumer first by putting them in control, but have also built the platform with the ecosystem benefits such as targeting, reporting, system integration, cross operating system functionality, strategic partners that publishers, advertisers and carriers need to drive their business.
Blink Feed and Facebook Home
As people and their daily activities become more mobile, home screens will become an important tool to get information and get it quickly. Developers, marketers and publishers should start looking into this technology and how their company will fit into this new interface -- whether it's a business that will create their own home screen product or one that would contribute to another company as a content publisher or marketer. As for the consumer, mobile is the future, so they should be ready to provide feedback on how they want this future to look.