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« Getting deeper into Tohato's snack food wargame in Japan, this is a BIG advertising concept | Main | The shock of the old »

May 23, 2008


Kare Anderson

Maybe Flirto will partner with one of the pay-by-phone firms - to feed parking meters. There are 3 in experiments here in S.F.
Then, with opt-in location-based offers, mobile phone users could park, whip out the phone to pay for it, then see what other users are nearby

No i am not part of any of these firms (one of them is active in Europe) yet the image of such a situation does seem amusing somehow... yet delighted to have you on my blog roll


Hi Kare

Great comment, thanks. Yeah, gotta send that over to Mark Curtis at Flirtomatic (although he might well have read your comment already ha-ha).

About mobile parking, couple of quick notes. The service was invented in Norway, in 1999. By 2003 more than half of all parking in Croatia was paid by mobile. Then in Estonia they noticed that there are criminals who put fake "not in use" signs on real parking meters, dressed in official-looking uniforms, and collected cash payments for people who wanted to park their cars. Then the criminals vanished, and the car owners were of course given parking tickets, for having not paid the legitimate parking fees to the fully-functional parking meters.

So the Estonian government looked at its population, with over 100% mobile phone ownership - and numerous mobile payment systems - the world's first lottery that was mobile-exclusive was launched in Estonia, you could not play the lottery with cash, only through your mobile. So the Estonian government decreed that all parking will be paid by mobile, updated the parking system, and today 100% of parking in Estonia is by mobile - and better yet - no crime in fake parking fees..

So yes, it might seem amusing, but this is a big way to remove some of the totally unnecessary cash payments in our economy. Who needs the hassle of finding cash for parking, then decide how long you need to park (and typically overpay), then suddenly need to run back to the car to add money if you underpaid - and getting unnecessary parking tickets where you really intended to pay for exactly as long as you needed, etc. All this is totally solved with mobile parking..

Thanks for writing

Tomi :-)


"You are almost single-handedly proving to the Western world that mobile social networking is a solid business model."

Unfortunately I read things the opposite way.

All these sites (mocospace, itsmy, airg, flirtomatic, eye chat, pepperonity etc) use the admob market place. The ads are served up in a CPC fashion, meaning nobody pays for the ads until the user actually clicks on the ads. if you're hammering the user with 28 ads a day, 2 ads a page, etc, what do you think click throughs do you think you get?

What would be NEWS is 1 billion PAID ads, or 1 billion click throughs....

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Kimbo

Thank you for the comment. I'm sorry if I was not very clear in my posting, but we've reported on Flirtomatic several times since they launched. Flirtomatic has been adopting and adapting various business models to their online dating/flirting (entertainment) service and truly making money hand over fist. CEO Mark Curtis said in public at the Mobile Web 2.0 conference in London last September that they were making so much money, they had to stop their monthly fee as unnecessary.

We've written about their other concepts here before, such as selling virtual red roses - 3.5 million virtual flowers sold in one year, to a total user base of under 100,000 at the time - thats an average of almost 3 roses per user per month! - and earned 800,000 UKP or 1.6 million dollars in the process.

They have adopted Google adwords to their First Face concept (another ad variant), they have personalization features which have premium personalization for extra fees, etc etc etc.

So I did not mean that by using Admob style mobile ads, they are "single-handedly proving mobile social networking" - rather these latest stats prove that Flirtomatic is turning into a master of all forms of monetizing a social network.

I'm sorry Kimbo that I was not that clear in my original posting.

Thanks for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)


Hey by da way how do u unlock flirtomtic if ur somewere it wnt let me log onalllllll sugar honey ice tea!!!! lol joking I love flirtomatic its da best juz pisssssed atm thank uuuuuu i dnt realy kno wat type ov commenns 2 put on ere

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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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