Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Mobile Social Networks for All Generations

Accessing social networks while mobile are quite popular with the Millennial generation, just as social networking at the desktop is, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Blogging, photo and video sharing, location-based socialization services, games, SMS, and IM will eventually be combined to afford the mobile user the entire social networking experience from a handset application, the high-tech market research firm says.

The mobile handset will simply become an extension of the user in most aspects of life. That is, if it hasn't already. Certainly, in the Asia-Pacific region, it seems that it has.

"The critical issue most mobile social networking site and application developers struggle with is how to make money with their services," says Jill Meyers, In-Stat analyst. "There are three primary methods of revenue generation for mobile social networking applications -- advertising, subscription services, and premium upgrades."

Last year's introduction of the very usable Apple iPhone enabled anyone to surf the Internet, download and play music, take pictures, send messages, and record videos, all on a thin, touch-screen operated unit.

This has changed mobile phone users' expectations. I believe that change will eventually help to enable mobile Internet applications, such as social networking, to transcend the current generational limitations of the typical early adopter.

In-Stat's study also found the following:

- In-Stat forecasts over 229.5 million mobile subscribers globally could be using mobile social networking services by 2012.

- Social network advertising continues to be experimental to marketers, but 2008 revenues are predicted to be over $1.5 billon.