What Happened To Google Nearby?

Google Nearby

Google made an official announcement to shut down Google Nearby December 6, 2018 after many have invested in beacon technology. This means that Google will stop delivering both Eddystone and Physical Web beacon notifications. This is due to the fact that it fell victim to spammers.

This another area of Google that is being closed the same as Inbox, Google+, YouTube Gaming.

So what was Google Nearby, it was a solution to send silent notifications to phones without the need of an APP. And this is was something great on paper, however, with so many marketers trying to use this technology, it became a spam issue for users.

To make it clear on Android and Apple devices you need an APP on a phone to send notifications. So this means to provide marketing messages you need the user to download an APP.

The Google Nearby allowed passive alerts, not showing on the lock screen and not able to trigger a vibration alert for example.

Google’s Eddystone protocol was the key to implementing proximity marketing campaigns without the need for an app. It was a great decision at the time by Google to take on Apple in the beacon battle-space and they released Eddystone in 2016. The Eddystone protocol is an open communication protocol that can broadcast a URL that can be received on Bluetooth-enabled smartphone whether they have an app installed or not. It uses services on the device such as Nearby Notifications, Samsung CloseBy or Physical Web compatible apps scan for and displays these Eddystone URLs after passing them through a proxy. For this to work the Bluetooth Beacons must transmit the Eddystone UID frames, they must transmit the Eddystone URL and they the Eddystone URL must be in HTTPS format.

Once released the Eddystone usage, development and adoption since 2016 has been amazing. According to the Proxbook Q1 2016 report, the gap between Apple’s iBeacon and Eddystone is fast closing with 45% of leading proximity marketing companies supporting Eddystone as of Q1 2016, up from 25% in Q3 2015.

So what does the future have for us in store and will businesses be able to reach out to consumers without spamming them?

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