ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — Greg Wester stands at the front of a crowded room, microphone in hand, peering at a sheet of paper and calling out words from a list that describe either mobile content marketing company Mobile Posse or the present or past of the telecom industry it serves. It is the night of the recent open house celebrating Mobile Posse’s move into a new, expanded headquarters in Arlington, Va. and the launch of its new Firstly Mobile service platform. Wester is playing the role of bingo caller as company founder and CEO Jon Jackson looks on, and employees around the room mark their cards.
“Frictionless! Feature phones!” Wester calls. “Discoverable!”
‘Discoverable’ content is the sweet spot where Mobile Posse aims to help operators gain a foothold. Content companies such as Facebook have made an art out of social media feeds that put tailored content at users’ fingertips, just a scroll and a click away — aka, frictionless — and monetized them. In August, Mobile Posse was recognized by Inc. Media as one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies: it reported three-year revenue growth of 387%. That growth was reflected in the move into a larger headquarters.
As Wester describes it, mobile operators are in an uphill battle as content companies simply trying to compete in the vast media landscape. Narrow that to the mobile device — which people carry with them, check obsessively and turn to for content when they are bored — and, he says, it becomes a downhill battle.
“Snackable!” Wester calls to the room — a descriptor for content that can easily be accessed and consumed in the short periods of time that users turn to their phones, such as when they’re waiting in line.
“Minus screen!” — that’s one of the places where Mobile Posse’s content shows up, in addition to the phone’s lock screen and when a user opens their browser. Samsung’s Bixby services uses the same tactic of a dedicated screen for serving up content. Google recently revamped its news feed service — which it says is used by more than 800 million people each month — and named it Discover, with a redesign to make content easier and more of interest to users.
Mobile Posse, which has been around for 13 years, just released the fifth iteration of its platform and brought all of its capabilities together — both for operators and for media buyers — under a single name: Firstly Mobile.
“Recent movements by major telecom players prove the future is now for carriers and OEMs to make a real entry into the mobile content and advertising game,” said Jackson in a statement on the Firstly Mobile launch. “Firstly Mobile is our next-gen content discovery solution for better smartphone experiences. It demonstrates our commitment to helping carriers and OEMs move fast, delight subscribers and change the mobile content game.”
“This is a great launch for us, and frankly for the industry, because everything is really coming this direction,” said Jackson in an interview with RCR Wireless News.
“We’re really an alternative to using social networks as a way to discover content,” he went on — and noted that as operators invest in becoming content companies, they should also be focused on ways to “surface” the content associated with their brands in particular.
Watch the full interview with Jackson below:
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