Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going for the Goo (app); classifieds and the tablet

While American newspaper publishers have pretty much given up on classified advertising, international firms are moving ahead with exploiting the new mediums of mobile and tablet. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the real estate apps being launched that take advantage of the iPads large display for showing off homes for sale. Today it is the turn of used cars.
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Released on Monday, Gooクルマ情報 for iPad (Japanese characters may not display correctly in all browsers) is a used car app from Proto Corporation. And while my Japanese may be lacking, the translation from the iTunes store description tells me that the app gives the user access to over 300,000 used cars.

Users can search for cars by price, body type, etc. But the app is missing a very important feature: the ability to place your own ad and submit your own car photo.

These classified apps hold tremendous potential and I would bet that quite a number of foreign newspapers publishers jump on the bandwagon. Once a company has acquired the ability to develop their own apps, they can begin creating new apps for their sections such as classified. The price of development is minuscule compared to printing classified pages, and the tie-in with the web would be a natural.


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To date, however, not only have the print folk avoided mobile media, most of the online classified companies have, as well. Monster.com, for instance, has nothing for the iPhone or iPad, although their Hong Kong franchise released an iPhone app in December of 2009.

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