In a previous post Social Networking and the Mobile Phone, I had written about the values mobile phone brings to a social network. Social networking, by definition, is about people that want to keep in touch with their friends and share info among them by the hour. Now, you can’t expect someone to roam around with a laptop all the time and this is where mobile phone comes into the picture. With the ability of mobile devices to operate in many different social spaces, both virtual and real world, the expectation that mobile will be the future of social networking is not as far fetched as it seemed only one year ago.
A growing number of global mobile phone users are accessing social networks over the mobile internet, according to research from Nielsen Mobile.
Kent Ferguson, Client Services Manager, Nielsen Mobile had this to say about the data: “Social networking is already a global phenomenon, and mobile could be the next big thing in the space. Large numbers of people are interacting with their social networking profiles while they’re on the move. There could be increased consumer demand for mobile social networking driven by the flat fee price plans offered by the leading operators that give subscribers unlimited mobile Internet access.”
eMarketer is predicting that mobile social networks will rise from 82 million users in 2007 to 800 million worldwide by 2012.
This growth will primarily come from existing social networks shifting their coverage to the mobile, however, mobile-only social networks will also play a part.
Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and co-author of the report says “Along with the rapidly growing audience, marketers are drawn to mobile social networking because it creates a unique context in which to promote their goods and services, It goes beyond simply linking people with digital content by adding the immediacy of sharing with friends—a very powerful marketing proposition.”
Laurel Papworth captures the evolution and trends in a wonderful presentation