IAC to Launch Ask Mobile GPS Service

May 13, 2007

IAC/InterActiveCorp. said it launched on Friday a new mobile application for its Ask.com Web search service to help consumers find friends, shops and services based on their location at a given moment. "Ask Mobile GPS," or Global Positioning System, was launched on Ask.com's Web site on Friday and will be available next week on Sprint Nextel Corp. through a deal between the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier and WaveMarket, which provides location-based services for mobile phones.

The service will be offered for $9.99 per month on seven phone models currently offered by Sprint. IAC aims to expand the service to other U.S. carriers and may offer more basic tools to consumers for free, company executives told Reuters.

"The Web has evolved to being an essential daily tool in people's lives and that doesn't stop when you leave the house," Ask.com Chief Executive Jim Lanzone said in an interview ahead of the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit in New York next week.

"Up to 30 to 40 percent of what is done on the Web could move to mobile," Lanzone said. "At the end of the day, everyone needs to go mobile. But being early in the game can help lock people in for the long term."

In addition to search and GPS-enabled maps and directions, Ask Mobile GPS will offer Web services from within IAC's family, beginning with its Citysearch guide for shops and restaurants and its Evite online party planner.

The company, home to over 60 Internet brands, plans to bring more of its services to the mobile application in the coming months, including box office service Ticketmaster, dating site Match.com and home listing site RealEstate.com.

"The challenge for mobile, which I think is easier for IAC to solve, is the content challenge," IAC Chief Operating Officer Doug Lebda said. "We've got all of that resident inside of our brands."

Early Advantage?

Mobile Internet services and local search services are viewed as two of the greatest growth opportunities for Web companies, from Google Inc. to Yahoo Inc., as well as media producers and communications operators.

IAC, controlled by media veteran and Web investor Barry Diller, hopes that an early combination of the two will be an advantage in developing a new market for the nearly 75 million subscribers to its U.S. Web-based services.

But despite years of media attention on the developing mobile space, the difficulty of navigating the Web on small cell phone screens and the lack of mobile search on a major wireless carrier's service has slowed widespread adoption.

Ask Mobile GPS simplifies the search for anything from nightclubs to emergency car towing by suggesting categories with the first letter typed into its search box.

Appropriate local listings are automatically determined by the phone's location. Once a particular business is selected, a user can read reviews or immediately call the merchant.

Ask Mobile also helps a user find friends in the area and invite them to meet at a particular location. Address information is enhanced by maps, and voice-read walking or driving directions.

IAC executives also highlighted new advertising opportunities linked to the Ask Mobile service based on the phone user's location. A subscriber could be offered a coupon to an ice cream shop next door, or to a movie showing in the neighborhood.

Advertisers, on the other hand, will know not only who called their business from using Ask Mobile's service, they can even know who walked into their store due to the ad.

IAC shares closed 12 cents higher at $34.85 on the Nasdaq on Friday.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

Explore further: Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Web marketer stands trial amid China crackdown

Aug 15, 2014

The founder of a web marketing company has pleaded guilty to helping delete Internet posts and spreading false information to make money and gain followers, Chinese media reported Friday, using the case to praise a government ...

Texas company helps energy giants keep track of equipment

Aug 14, 2014

Keeping track of billions of dollars of equipment that's constantly on the move is one of the oil and gas industry's toughest challenges. Time is always money. But it's a fortune when it's downtime in the oilfield or offshore.

Games, WeChat boost Tencent profit to $949 million

Aug 13, 2014

China's Tencent Holdings Ltd., which operates online games and the popular WeChat messaging service, said Wednesday its quarterly profit rose 59 percent due to strong growth in its mobile business.

Recommended for you

US warns shops to watch for customer data hacking

10 hours ago

The US Department of Homeland Security on Friday warned businesses to watch for hackers targeting customer data with malicious computer code like that used against retail giant Target.

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

Aug 22, 2014

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

Aug 22, 2014

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

Aug 22, 2014

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

Aug 21, 2014

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

User comments : 0