The Rising Hype Around Mobile Community Networks

The hype around social networks and community sites going mobile is steadily increasing, and there’s a reasonable chance it’s justified. MySpace is the most famous in the US, which is busy with plans to be on every major carrier by 2007 (up from Helio and Cingular)…but perhaps the biggest is Cyworld, the Korean social networking site which gets 22 billion page hits a month. Around 92% of Korean 20-somethings have a personal page on the site, and it rakes in around US$200,000 per day, 10% of that from mobile services which allow people to check and update their site from their mobile phone.
As well as established sites going mobile new mobile-specific sites are launching. The latest is Q121, which is just leaving beta (a list of some others is at this blog…not to mention MocoSpace, nothing to do with us). The site will allow registered members to “share their interests, and organize their personal content on Q121.com Web site, then upload that content — ringtones, music, wallpaper, even video clips — to their phones. The Q121.com service is free, and members are able to text message friends and groups anonymously, thanks to a special member ID”. It said it is launching with 50,000 registered users, just under half of which have already downloaded content to their phone — an average of 6.2 pieces of content each month. The content is user-generated and free, which may perhaps be a drawcard for people looking to personalize their phones on a budget.
Q121’s revenue stream will come from marketing…”Early demographic data implies that the average Q121.com member is between the ages of 16 and 28 years old (older than mySpace and similar sites) and is comprised of 61 percent women.”
This adds support to the idea that people are keen to share their content — with some more coming from FunMobility, which sent us some stats of their America’s Best Mobile Pix service which lets users on different carrier networks share photos. “Over the past year, more than 300,000 subscribers have exchanged more than 70 million photo-messages. That’s more than 233 messages per user. And usage over the past five months has increased more than 200%.” Sure, it’s only one company so not too much can be infered from the stats, but that’s almost 20 “photo-messages” (MMS?) per person per month, which is the kind of uptake carriers are desperate for.
Related stories:
Brits The Biggest Users Of Mobile Social Media — M:Metrics
@ MEX: Building Communities Around Identity, Presence And Interaction