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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:19 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:21 am
Posts: 1082
This should be interesting and we will discuss the monetization of Mobile Social Networking in San Francisco on July 26-27, 2007.

Reprinted courtesy of RCR Wireless News

Mobile social networks misfiring
By Matt Kapko
May 24, 2007

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.—Mobile social networking is “one of these servants in waiting … something that has a lot of potential, but hasn’t been fully exploited,” Michael Stroud, co-founder and CEO of iHollywood Forum Inc., said in introductory remarks here at the Mobile Entertainment Summit.

A panel of executives at the event was tasked with addressing the relatively low adoption rate of social networking in the mobile environment, and queried as to what will drive more widespread use.

“You’re still looking at a 2% adoption rate,” said Elizabeth Sherman, head of mobile distribution and content at Revver, a social-working site. “I do think there’s a market for it … it’s going to be about getting mobile advertising jumpstarted.”

Pierre-Emmanuel Struyven, CMO of mobile software vendor Streamezzo, said the industry needs to do more to appeal to advertisers. “There are trials, trials in video services or trials to see how you can sponsor services,” he said. “What we’ve learned from the trials is there is a great end-user interest, now we need to get interest from the advertisers.”

Beyond monetization of the mobile social networking, developers need to deliver services that make sense for the smaller screen.

“Don’t think of mobile as an isolated social network,” said Juha Christensen, CEO of Sonopia, a firm focused on mobile virtual network operators. Christensen added that a hybrid offering of Web and mobile is most likely to succeed.

“People have much less tolerance, they have much less time” on their mobile phones, he said.

“It’s snack-size entertainment,” Sherman said. Mobile social networks will need to narrow their scope for users’ mobile communities. The expansive list of friends in the world of MySpace won’t transfer as easily to the mobile phone, she said.

“Context is king in that world,” Sherman said.

Panelists also argued that services need to be easy to find, and need to be priced appropriately.

Interestingly, one panelist rallied against carriers’ unlimited pricing plans, despite arguments that such plans encourage the use of mobile social networks. Sonopia’s Christensen argued that the cost of delivering video and other data-heavy services could strain operator networks.

“The worst that can happen with all-you-can eat is that people start eating a lot,” he said.

Marc Lesnick
Conference Organizer
Social Networking Conference

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