The Grid Goes Global

The Grid, a mobile only social network owned by Vodacom, has gone global.

First heard about The Grid when ‘Portfolio Manager’, Vincent Maher, spoke at Mobile Web in Nairobi earlier this year.

– The Grid is a mashup of instant messaging, content sharing, location based services

- They target ads by location gender age time of day. Also they use location based adverts. To use LBA one needs user location, ad server that support this (Google does) and application that adds location. This is good for very small businesses e.g. hairdresser, plumbers, and they can expect to see low volume of impression but a high click though rate

– Users don’t need to have GPS to use the service
 as the Grid uses aerial photographs and their own maps (not Google maps)


What is coming next?
- Ambient (mood based) advertising

- Desire line anticipation (plot where you will be and advertiser prompts you to buy later when you get there)

The Grid has about two million users in South Africa, Nigeria and Tanzania. It rivals MXit, which dominates South Africa, and was launched in Kenya with Vodafone-managed Safaricom in May 2010.