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Mobile operators will be first to gain from mobile social networking
Posted: 24-Sep-2008 [Source: Analysys Mason]

[Operators first to gain in mobile social networking services says Analysys Mason.]

Washington -- Social networking is gaining mobility as online social networking providers add mobile interfaces to their services, and numerous specialist, mobile-centric social networks emerge. However, according to Analysys Mason’s new report, Mobile social networking: strategies and case studies, mobile operators will be the most immediate beneficiaries of mobile social networking services.

“Mobile social networking is stimulating growth in mobile data usage and revenue, which is crucial for mobile operators as their voice revenue comes under increasing pressure,” says Katrina Bond, author of the report.

The report points out that many operators have already witnessed the spread of social networking to the mobile market – including Vodafone UK, which listed Bebo, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube among the ten most-visited sites for its Vodafone Mobile Internet customers (see Note to Editors).

“Generating a profit from online social networks has proved difficult, but it will be even more challenging with mobile social networking services – particularly given the immature state of the mobile advertising market,” adds Bond. The report notes that it is not as easy to discover and subscribe to new services on mobile devices as it is on PCs because of their smaller form factors and less ­advanced search capabilities. As a result, even the major online social networking service providers such as Facebook and MySpace have found it advantageous to form partnerships with mobile operators to facilitate access to their sites from mobile devices. “ISPs provide only a transport layer for online services,” Bond comments, “but mobile operators can help to facilitate discovery of and access to mobile services.”

Mobile social networking: strategies and case studies evaluates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing a broad range of players that aim to benefit from the emerging mobile social networking opportunity, and includes case studies of the approaches being taken by Bluepulse, Facebook, GeoSentric, Hutchison 3G, MySpace, Nokia, Orange, SK Telecom and Vodafone Group.


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