Tag Archives: Local

Making Money From Your App Isn’t Just About Advertising

CityGrid is one of the few API providers out there that provide revenue sharing opportunities for their developers. CityGrid wants to make sure developers are successful with their web and mobile applications, and being able to generate revenue and be sustainable is key to this success.

However, one common misconception I encounter talking with CityGrid publishers is the perception that monetization of your app automatically means showing advertising on your site or in your application. I think this is a common perception in an industry dominated by advertising, with many startups using this as their primary business model.

Local mobile or web advertising is one way you can make money using CityGrid, however you can get paid for just displaying places, and connecting your users with these merchants. Using CityGrid Places that Pays, developers can implement a tracker on the places details pages, passing several values, recording the fact that a particular place was displayed.

Each tracking call has what is called an “action_target”, with the most common value being “listing_profile”, which gives you credit for showing the profile of a business listing. However there a total of 12 action targets you can implement that are “billable”:

  • listing_profile – Embed on the profile page of both advertisers and non advertisers
  • click_to_call – Embed where user clicks to call provided phone number
  • listing_website – Click to External Listing Website
  • listing_review – Embed anywhere reviews are shown
  • listing_map – Embed where a map is shown with advertiser’s location
  • listing_driving_direction – Embed on page where directions are provided to merchant location
  • listing_map_print – Embed on confirmation page of user printing map of merchant location
  • send_listing_email – Embed on confirmation page of user sending merchant information via email
  • send_listing_phone – Embed on confirmation page of user sending merchant information via SMS
  • offer – Embed on page where advertiser offer is displayed
  • partner_menu – Trigger when a non-CityGrid menu is shown
  • partner_reservation – Trigger when a non-CityGrid reservation window is shown

The listing profile is most common, but you can get paid for just showing reviews, offers and a map to the business location. Then in addition you can show advertising to further increase your revenue, but advertising is not required.

There are a total of 26 actions you can record with places data, only 12 of them are billable, but you can see where CityGrid is going– rewarding developers for quality usage of places, offers and reviews data is just the start. CityGrid is working hard to understand the value of this content and actions around it, so that developers can be paid to build high quality web and mobile apps that use CityGrid content.

So if your looking to make money with your web or mobile app, definitely consider advertising, but it is a good time to start looking beyond advertising and understand how you can make money implementing “Places that Pay”!

Developer Opportunity: Pinterest + CityGrid

Pinterest is blowing up, its one of those new app crazes that has really struck a chord, primarily with women. Its all over the media and blogosphere, and everyone is talking about staggering user counts and how much traffic can drive to a website.

I started playing with the Pinterest API to see what the potential of the platform is beyond just the consumer side. The API is simple, yet robust and each and every pin potentially has latitude, longitude and other location information associated with it.

To date the consumer side of Pinterest is is organized by category and very photo based for exploration and discovery. The local potential of Pinterest doesn’t even seem tapped at all yet, leaving huge opportunity for developers to build something cool that allows users to explore interesting things in a map, by city, neighborhood, zip code or in real-time via their mobile phone.

With this opportunity I’m adding it to my developer opportunity list. Seems like Pinterest API combined with CityGrid Places, Offers and Reviews APIs, you could make some interesting user experiences allowing web and mobile users to explore interesting things right around them.

You could easily monetize just by showing CityGrid places along with Pinterest content, and if you wanted to further monetize with CityGrid local advertising. I’m going to play with some PHP, Python and Ruby samples for Pinterest + CityGrid integrations, then maybe some mobile samples as well.

Let me know if you have any ideas as well.

Fifty Percent of Instagram Photos Have Geo Coordinates

I’m playing around with the Instagram API, to determine if it is a good source for pulling location specific, high quality photos.

Many of the photos I come across, that associated with locations…well, just suck. I love using Instagram and feel i take some really cool photos from specific locations. So I wanted to test the waters.

I wrote a script that pulled 500 images across 20 of my Instagram friends. I figured that was a good cross-section. Here are the results:

  • Number of Photos – 500
  • Number with Latitude / Longitude – 261
  • Number with No Location – 239

That is slightly over 50% of Instagram photos having latitude and longitude associated with each photo. Awesome!

After evaluating my own photos, and talking to a couple of my friends, we concluded that the ones without location info, are probably from taking photos with our camera outside of Instagram, then running through Instagram for the filters.  So the numbers could be higher for users who don’t do this.

By no way a scientific research, but enough to warrant pushing ahead building more code samples and prototypes at CityGrid and Hyp3rL0cal, so developers can pull high quality local photos from Instagram and include in their local web and mobile applications.