Social Networks Impact Mobile Society
Social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have changed the Internet and are now changing the mobile society as well. A new report from ABI Research titled Mobile Social Communities says that social networking is going to have a major impact on mobile phones.
The report says that the mobile social community numbers around 50 million users globally and that by 2011 the number will reach 174 million.
“The rapid rise of online social communities has done more than bring the ‘pen pal’ concept into the 21st century,” said Clint Wheelock of ABI. “It has created a new paradigm for personal networking. In a logical progression, many social communities are now based on the mobile phone and other portable wireless devices instead of (or as well as) the PC. Such mobile social communities extend the reach of electronic social interaction to millions of people who don’t have regular or easy access to computers.”
ABI analysts believe that there are three categories that can generate revenue for mobile social communities. Mobile operators can profit from the data usage. Companies that sponsor special interest groups that relate directly to their products can profit as well as mobile communities that off downloadable services for sale like ringbones or images.
“What would help drive these communities is for more operators to sponsor them,” said Mr. Wheelock. “In the US, operators have not yet backed them, which means that it’s not simple for a mobile subscriber to get a new phone and immediately join an online social community. They have to seek out a third-party provider. But that’s going to change rapidly.”