The Incredible Shrinking Ad [The Future Web Is Mobile]

Is higher education ready for the switch to mobile technology? It’s kinda cool to be working at a university where the Luddites are the ones who are attached to their laptops, but I’m conscious of our need to do more.

When I put a ton of work into a website for a performing arts school and theater company, I quickly noticed that the parents in the waiting room and the actors in the wings and the dancers on break in the studios were all looking at the site on mobile devices. The office staff loved the features that worked well on their desktop machines, but if the info wasn’t visible on a phone, for most of the target audience, it might as well have been printed and tacked to a bulletin board.

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Plenty of apps and companies, including Pandora and Twitter, make much of their revenue from mobile advertising. But ads account for more than 90 percent of revenue at Google and more than 80 percent at Facebook, and as users migrate from desktops and laptops to mobile devices, only a small fraction of these companies’ ad revenues are moving with them. The same problem applies to many of the other companies that have been providing free content and services on the Web as it has developed. For the next 10 years, as mobile penetration screams past 60 percent, 70 percent, 80 percent, this will be the trillion-dollar question: How do you build a thriving business selling ads on a four-inch screen—and what happens if you can’t? —The Incredible Shrinking Ad – Atlantic Mobile.