Location analytics startup Placed plans to expand its customer base beyond native app developers today by launching support for mobile websites.
Placed is supposed to help mobile publishers understand the location context of their users — specifically what kinds of businesses they’re near. If you’ve ever tried to use a consumer location service like Foursquare, you’ve probably seen some wildly inaccurate guesses about where you are. To fix that, founder and CEO David Shim tells me the company takes licensed and open source location data, then “we built a model to clean up that raw location data” to accurately tie a range of latitude/longitude coordinates to a specific business.
Adding the mobile web to the service is a pretty obvious next step. Placed should be able to provide location data from any mobile browser that supports HTML5, Shim says. Among other things, this should help Placed serve more “content players” — in other words, blogs and other content sites that don’t have the resources to create a native app, or don’t bother because “people can just go to the site.”
With that in mind, Shim says he’s tried to make Placed integration as easy as possible — publishers just need to take a minute to drop a tag on their site.
Placed breaks down its data by both specific stores and general business categories. As an example, Placed says that one early tester found that 10.64 percent of site visits occurred near businesses in the “banking” category, and 8.51 percent of visits occurred near a Starbucks. With this data, the publisher might then tailor their content, features, or (most promisingly from a business perspective) their advertising.
Placed is also announcing that it has added Jeff Lanctot, CMO of digital agency Razorfish, to its advisory board.