Mobile Social Networking Needs Advertising — Panel

A panel on mobile social networking at MES reportedly expressed the opinion that the success of mobile social networking will be dependent on getting advertising on the services up and running. “You’re still looking at a 2 percent 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” reports RCR News. “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.”

I was a little surprised by this because advertising is normally mooted as a way to offset development costs of mobile content — but in this case the content is generated by the users. There are development costs for the platform of course, and for running it, but the benefits of getting people to use the mobile network more (MMS, WAP usage and so on) should pay for that. Maybe the idea is to lower the cost to users of posting and viewing content, which should then drive uptake.