The public is thirsty for flexibility: “there’s an app for that” has become a meme, the hot new mobile device‘s key feature is that it’s unlocked. So if you’re Verizon – why in the hell are you forcing users of your best-selling phones to use one of the most unpopular search products?
It broke (quietly) a few days ago that Verizon is now forcing owners of some smartphones (like the Blackberry Storm 2) to use Bing, Microsoft’s search engine. It’s not just resetting the default search to Bing; no – it’s blocking them from using other search tools like Google. The move is apparently part of a $500 million, five-year advertising/promotional contract.
Let’s be honest – Bing is a turd. To channel Levar Burton, “but you don’t have to take my word for it:” Google is mopping the floor with Bing in terms of raw user data, James Fallows of the Atlantic just conducted a failed experiment in writing an article using Bing, and Mashable’s readers just trounced Bing in a poll this month.
I wonder if Verizon is stupid enough to try to force Droid users to suffer with Bing (completely undermining the identity of the product they’ve spent millions to frame as free of the constraints that tie down the iPhone). Let’s hope not.
In my opinion Verizon, Microsoft low-balled you; I wouldn’t risk my brand’s integrity for a paltry $500 million. Then again, I’m some blogging ass-clown so what do I know, right?
Simon & Schuster and the marketing company ipsh! recently lost a court decision after spamming mobile phone owners with text messages promoting Stephen King’s new book. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act currently limits the use of autodialing technologies.
So long as consumers incur any sort of direct “per transaction” cost for the traffic they receive on mobile devices, any marketer that tries to use those platforms for unsolicited advertisements is begging for trouble (and risking cutting themselves off from their audience permanently). It wouldn’t take much for an enterprizing programmer to have a hit iPhone or Blackberry app that blocks unsolicited texts.