Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Adobe Hosts Platform Services To Distribute Flash Apps

Adobe Systems is hosting Flash Platform Services to distribute Flash-based applications to social networks, desktops and mobile devices. Adobe announced the services at an Interactive Advertising Bureau conference. Adobe is partnering with Gigya for social distribution and will likely use analytics from its recent acquisition of Omniture.

Adobe Systems announced Monday new services that will allow advertisers and content publishers to "promote, measure and monetize" Flash-based applications over "social networks, desktops and mobile devices."
Called Flash Platform Services, the hosted set of offerings is intended to provide advertisers, game makers, publishers and others with a distribution solution and a management tool for measuring, distributing and creating revenue streams from Flash applications and games. In particular, the services will make it easier to share, track, and monetize the Flash-created content through social media, including Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and others.

Partnering with Gigya

The new service was announced at the Interactive Advertising Bureau MiXX Conference and Expo, currently taking place in New York. Adobe is partnering with Gigya, a social media-distribution platform, to provide the services.

The growth of application use and distribution through social networks is a key driver. Adobe said later this year it will release its Social service, which will allow developers to write a single application. Users will be given a choice of which social network they want to access through the app.

Using the platform service, apps can be distributed to multiple mobile platforms. Users wanting to install the app can click on a link in a SMS message, and Adobe's distribution service can determine which device is making the request and provide the application for that device.

The platform also offers various analytical tools for measuring customer usage and distribution of a given application or mini-application. And cross-promotion of other Web applications is provided, so downloading one application could lead to another being offered.

The services include ad hosting for shared applications, using either ads available through other providers or through Adobe. Distribution, tracking, creating campaigns, and enabling ad hosting can all be managed through the service's Distribution Manager.

To use the service, applications will be built in Flash Professional or Flex Builder. Dreamweaver can be used to place the Share menu adjacent to the application on a Web page.

Why Not 'Get Into This Game?'

Jeffrey Hammond, an analyst with industry research firm Forrester, said Flash Platform Services makes sense for Adobe, especially in light of its recent acquisition of Web analytics provider Omniture.

He noted that, as the platform allows companies and developers to track and monetize their Flash widgets, Adobe is essentially getting into a viral market that its technology has helped to create.

Adobe had to be asking themselves, Hammond said, "'Why don't we get into this game ourselves?'" Some of the services, he noted, have been offered by companies like Clearspring.

One company working with the Adobe platform is The Wall Street Journal. The Journal's WSJ Radio Network will provide a widget with Web tools for its 370 radio station affiliates to use on their own sites. The widget will offer content from WSJ Radio and the Journal, including podcasts and live audio business updates, and users can share the widget through social-networking sites and through blogs.