Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From Search to Discovery

BARCELONA -Another hectic day at the Mobile World Congress, which explains the backlog I am building up in reporting on the various events happening.

Just attended a seminar on the Future of Mobile Search, where Steve Boom, of Yahoo Life, discussed his experience around the world in building up the Yahoo search funtionality.

In his view, 4 criteria are pre-eminent in determing the future of mobile search:

1. Ease of Use -Operator portals, he said, are a 2007 story. Users want now to directly access the mobile web and find relevant results

2. Pricing simplicity -simply put, the demand is for flat rates and complex pricing structures will ultimately fail to entice the user

3. Openness -search engines need to work across all platforms (a key trend in 2008)

4. Monetization -so long as those in the mobile search (sub) ecosystem are able to make money, there will be significant progress in this area. The 'how' of monetization is still to be defined, though.

An interesting question from the audience was concerning the future of voice search -Steve's reply was that this is still way in the future, as the technology is not mature and users still need to be educated on how this works.

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