What Happened To Proximity Beacons?

Google Nearby Notifications was a feature built into the Android operating system that helped users...

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Google Nearby Notifications was a feature built into the Android operating system that helped users discover what's around them, by surfacing location-specific notifications for apps and websites, with no prior app install required. The feature was leveraged by many companies to provide a way for businesses to deliver notifications to Android users based on their proximity to bluetooth devices called 'beacons'.  These beacons transmit a bluetooth signal with a unique code to all devices within their bluetooth range.  Ranges varied with devices between 100 to 1000 meter radius.

In December 2018, Google decided to discontinue the Google Nearby Notification service.  As a result, the proximity marketing industry was disrupted because their business model no longer worked and many companies were forced to abruptly shutdown.  Now, in order to use beacons, phones need to have a mobile app installed that listens to the beacons and triggers notifications. Since Google's Android was the only one that had this notification feature, that's the reason this it only worked with Android phones. iOS/iPhones never had this feature open.

In conclusion, the Google Nearby service is still available via API and any company can develop using the API to trigger their own notifications in their own app. That's a challenge for small businesses wanting to use beacons today because people would now need to install a seperate app.  Large stores like Target, Walgreens, etc., have mobile apps for their stores that provides many features, shopping, etc, and they have included nearby notification to their apps. So, their customers who download their app for different reasons also get notified if they are nearby. 

Proximity marketing has changed. One company stood out from the crowd and was actually preparing for a potential shutdown of this feature as Google has a history of shutting down services (i.e. Google Plus, Google Now, Hangouts, etc.).  Proximity marketing can now be done virtually, without the use and limitations of bluetooth beacons. Plus it now works with iPhones, Android and all devices with better targeting and high-quality ads.

The upgrade to marketing with beacons is here. The same company that pioneered proximity marketing with beacons now has a simple and affordable all-in-one marketing platform for the non-technical small business owner to market themselves like never before. It's not just about beacons anymore... Includes everything you need to build and grow your business. 

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About Fernando Sosa
Fernando Sosa is an entrepreneur, marketer, technology consultant, project management professional, and software developer who helps businesses and organizations make the most of their information technology resources and increase revenue.