Monetizing Google Platforms?
The evolution of language used to discuss a topic can be interesting. One of the words that seems to be increasingly tied to Google is “platform,” as in the Android mobile platform and the Opensocial platform.
Mike Elgan wrote an interesting post earlier this month about a combination of these platforms in Making the Google Phone, OpenSocial connection. Mobile social networks seem like a great combination.
In working to create these applications, Google could make it easier for developers to put together applications that can be used across social networking sites and across different mobile devices, or both as Mike Elgan points out.
A Google patent application from last week explores how the development and use of applications could become even more affordable to developers. The abstract from the patent filing tells us:
A platform service that is used by an application may be linked to an advertising service. A cost of using the platform service may be reduced based on the linking.
The patent application is:
Monetizing service calls through advertising
Inventors: Ambar Pansari and Jessica R. Ewing
US Patent Application 20070265858
Published November 15, 2007
Filed: March 31, 2006
The overview section of the filing provides us with the value of such an approach in a nutshell, and show some examples of services that could be used in those applications:
Systems and methods provide application developers with incentives for providing advertising in their applications. Developers may create web-based or desktop applications based on a service provided by a third party.
For example, a developer may create a desktop application using a service, such as a network search service, a mapping service, an e-mail service, or another service that is provided by a third party.
The backend infrastructure for the service may be provided by the third party as a set of web service application programming interfaces (APIs) exposed by the third party.
The services, developer tools, and infrastructure that we see being created for both the Android platform and the Opensocial platform would make it easier for developers to work within those platforms.
But, there’s likely a cost associated with serving information that those applications might use. Will advertising be used to offset those costs?
Implementations consistent with the principles of the invention provide a new business model, backed up with a set of web services, developer tools, and backend infrastructure to allow those who develop and publish software (both web-based and desktop) to monetize their work through targeted advertising.
In one implementation consistent with the principles of the invention, the developer’s usage of a third-party service is linked together with an advertising service provided by the third party.
As the developer’s application generates clicks by showing advertising in their application, the developer is granted “credits” by the third party to make service calls to the service provided by the third party. More clicks and more revenue mean more credits, keeping the usage of the service essentially free for the developer.
Is advertising a part of the future of the Android and Opensocial platforms? It appears to be a possibility.
Added: see Ionut Alex Chitu’s post at Google Operating System on Jaiku, Android and Google’s Mobile Ads, which I came across shortly after publishing this post for some interesting thoughts on Android and advertising.