MySpace Hooks up with Cingular


Those of you waiting for MySpace mobile to move beyond just Helio, well, Cingular and MySpace say today that they are offering the MySpace Mobile service to Cingular customers. It makes sense — the largest U.S. carrier and the daddy of social networks. The deal will go a long way in teaching cell phone users in the U.S. about the mobile web and mobile applications.

The companies say Cingular subscribers will be able to edit MySpace profiles, view and add friends, upload photos and blogs, and send/receive messages. The service costs $2.99 per month plus data charges. Cingular customers can text “MYSPACE” to “386” (FUN) to get the MySpace Mobile application onto cell phones, as well as connect through Cingular’s menu. We downloaded the application and briefly tested it out.

The application itself is slick — and actually has a cleaner design than MySpace for the web (though that wouldn’t be too hard to beat). After downloading and opening the app, the first thing you read: “As with any heavy-data mobile application, Cingular strongly recommends you subscribe to a Media Max data bundle IN ADDITION to this purchase.” Smart Cingular. There’s a pretty good chance this application will convince a lot of cell phone users to get data plans.

Using the application to search friend’s profiles and look at photos was pretty slow over the cellular network. Regardless, this is one of the most high profile mobile applications to date for wireless users in the U.S., and will significantly boost the awareness of mobile downloads and apps — that makes it a good day for you mobile application startups!

Cingular had to get this deal with MySpace, after Verizon Wireless grabbed YouTube. (The Cingular/MySpace service doesn’t currently include video.) Though, Cingular and MySpace already offered text alerts. To date few mobile social networks have had much success, but this deal could change that. ABI Research says “mobile social communities” currently count nearly 50 million members worldwide, a number that is expected to reach 174 million in 2011.


S.S. Hoffman

I tried it, and it was a bit slow. It’s pretty basic — what you’d expect, but it works. It’s not an embarassment.

I’m actually more excited about the next wave of apps that are designed from the ground up to be pure mobile social networks. There are a number of startups that are focused entirely on mobile. They promise to take advantage of the unique features of the phone. It will be interesting to see how they compete with MySpace and what innovations they offer.

The Hoff


i agree that this will significantly boost awareness of mobile apps. I wonder though how the text alerts of myspace is doing?

I always believe that there’s a value chain for data services.

In mobile, you will always have to start with the smallest bits and that is SMS. (the very basic of mobile data)Once users embraced SMS, there’s a natural transition to MMS then video then client based mobile application. But lately, what we are seeing is that most are jumping the gun and moving ahead of the chain, which at the end of the day makes the learning curve steeper.

Brent Brookler

I agree with Katie, this is great for boosting awareness of mobile applications and with MySpace’s huge audience, they will see a lot of people making this purchase.

The application is written in Java, so will not work on Blackberry’s or smartphones, for now.

Jesse Kopelman

Given how poorly Cingular markets services, I’m dubious “The deal will go a long way in teaching cell phone users in the U.S. about the mobile web and mobile applications.” Not to say that the users won’t eventually find out on their own . . .

Erik Schwartz

I wonder what percentage of MySpace users pay for their own cell phone service.

Can a kid who has a bundled shared plan with their parents, convince their parents to pony up the extra money ($30-$50/month) for a data plan? That’s on top of the unlimited messaging their parents already added, and all the minutes the kid consumes?

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