The near future for beacons may not lie in retail

Retailers are scrambling to leverage the power of beacons powered by Bluetooth low energy (BLE), but the technology may gain ground in other scenarios before users begin to embrace it in brick-and-mortar stores.

Retailers must handle BLE-based marketing campaigns carefully

Urban Airship used Mobile World Congress this week to plug a new product that helps retailers use Apple’s iBeacon technology to deliver targeted push messages to shoppers in the store. But retailers must keep a few crucial things in mind as they experiment with Bluetooth Low Energy-based campaigns.

Ready or not, here comes Apple’s iBeacon

Shopkick said it will roll out its shopBeacon service in 100 American Eagle locations nationwide in what will be the largest deployment of Apple’s iBeacon technology yet. But while proximity mobile marketing is likely to change the way we shop, it will also result in some push-back from consumers.

Foursquare guns for Yelp, one feature at a time

Foursquare and Yelp are moving into more direct competition, feature by feature. On Monday, Foursquare launched a new feature that allows users to create lists of the places they’ve checked into or plan to visit, bringing it further into the review and recommendation space.

Today in Mobile

The Wall Street Journal has an eye-catching post this morning documenting Foursquare’s attempts to turn its 10 million users into revenue. The pioneer of the check-in has struck agreements with LivingSocial and AT&T to remarket daily discount offers, and it is in talks with Groupon to partner on a similar arrangement, according to the Journal. Delivering location-based offers to on-the-go users who willingly receive them (by checking in) makes a lot of sense, of course. But as my colleague Mathew Ingram points out, that’s a space that Facebook and Google are also rushing into — not to mention Yelp, Loopt and countless others. Foursquare is making the right moves, but it may discover that its big user base isn’t big enough.

Startups Find Ways to Target Mobile Users Anonymously

With the FTC’s crackdown on privacy extending to mobile, the shifting climate is opening up opportunities for start-ups like PlaceIQ and BlueCava that enable advertisers to target mobile users without personally identifying them.