Thursday, February 1, 2007

Targeted advertising for Gizmocall?

Andy Abramson is reasoning about Gizmocall and that it will probably be having advertising soon. Gizmo founder Michael Robertson said to him in a phone call:

What is interesting is advertising revenue that is used to pay for calling. Because the call is not only initiated, but transpires in the GizmoCall browser we have the ability to insert effective targeted advertising in and around the consumer calling experience like nobody else.

Yes, this is a very interesting idea. You have to compare it to services like this one we have in Germany:

This is a call connecting service: You can make free phone calls, using your normal phone, as long as your browser is open and you watch the advertising. To keep you interested they also show news. (I personally wouldn't like it if people would be reading news while they call me.) The company behind is Goyellow. Once they wanted to become the new Yellow Pages in Germany. I don't hear from that anymore, but very much about their free phone calls.

If you compare Gizmocall to the Gizmos have one great advantage: They have to pay the termination fees only one time. Only to the party that is being called. instead has to call both parties from their server and connect them. So they need the double of advertising revenues.

I have learned that services like this are supposedly making big turnovers because the advertising industry likes them. They make targeted advertising possible. At you always have to put in your phone number to establish the call to you. So they already know where you live and how often you use the service. Also they want you to fill a questionnaire to even better target the advertising. Maybe that is exactly what Gizmocall wants to do as well.

To me this kind of targeted advertising is a data protection nightmare. Imagine if people use such services for years and for every one of their calls! I don't really know who is behind Gizmocall or But they soon could know my communication habits. Not to imagine that theoretically they also could record all of my calls and investigate them. I don't like the idea that companies like Amazon know me better than I do, by collecting my data (maybe crossing them with data they get from other companies) and analyzing them with every time better software. That they know my weak spots for targeted advertising. That one day they only show me advertising I am interested in. And so I will be buying and buying and being broke soon, my house full of crap I that "like" but I am not able to pay the rent anymore.

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