Virgin Mobile Bonds With Social Networking Sites

    August 22, 2007

Social networking is hot – has been for years, really – and the mobile market isn’t exactly unpopular, either.  So Virgin Mobile is embracing both trends, and, as described by the company, “Virgin Mobile USA’s over 4.8 million customers can now access a variety of social networking opportunities including a group of niche-targeted mobile-optimized sites.”

Virgin Mobile Bonds With Social Networking Sites
Virgin Mobile Bonds With Social Networking Sites

The big question, however, is if those customers will want to access them; just one week ago, an M:Metrics study revealed that only 3.5 percent of mobile users access social networks with their phones.  Admittedly, that leaves a lot of room for growth, so Virgin Mobile’s move is likely to be either a big draw or a big flop – there may not be much middle ground.

Meh.  Time will tell.  Meanwhile, we can look at the social networks Virgin Mobile has highlighted.  They include AsianAve, BlackPlanet, GLEE, MiGente, LiveJournal, Rabble, Vox, and Xanga; as you can see, the company’s press people weren’t kidding with the term “niche-targeted.”

“We’ve built our success around empowering our customers and giving them maximum flexibility and control,” explained Dominick Tolli, vice president for Virgin Mobile’s Mobile Data Services division, in a release.  “There is a growing number of social networking sites that reflect different lifestyles and interests, and we’re committed to putting our customers in the driver’s seat: that is, enabling them to create their own individual experiences, determining how and with whom they want to communicate, whenever they like.”

Sounds rational enough; I just don’t know if that reasoning can increase M:Metrics’s 3.5 percent.  Hat tip to Mashable’s Kristen Nicole.