AT&T Mobility is shutting down its location-based Alerts program that allows users to receive alerts about sales or promotions from nearby retailers at the end of March. It is releasing an updated version later this year.
In an email to customers, the carrier stated: “the Alerts BETA was successful and we gained valuable learnings. Based on this information, we're planning to launch a new and improved offer service later this year,” according to a Light Reading report.
An AT&T spokesperson confirmed the email message sent to customers, but declined to share details of the new service until closer to the expected
The company first introduced the free service, then called ShopAlert, in February 2011 in partnership with location technology firm Placecast. It was the first major carrier promoting a location service using geo-fencing to send messages to users passing by participating stores or brands.
The carrier rolled out the location service nationally in December 2012 as “Alerts,” letting wireless customers text “JOIN” to ATTAlerts to opt in and begin receiving discounts and offers from brands and retailers, including Gap, Staples, Zales, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Duracell, Motorola, Discover. It’s not clear how many AT&T customers had signed up for Alerts in the last 15 months.
Late last year, AT&T took steps to restructure its broader ad business. In October, the carrier said it was shutting down the online and mobile ad network business operated within its AdWorks division. Instead, it planned to focus on advanced TV, mobile and online advertising within its owned and operated properties, including U-verse TV.
According to a person with knowledge of the matter, more than 120 employees were let go as part of the restructuring, including Michael Rosen, vice president, online and mobile sales at AdWorks.