For the mobile social networking panel, I thought it might be helpful to condense the various remarks each speaker made to sum up their particular social network’s take on mobile. Not to say the panelists weren’t talking to each other as well, but I think their individual insights are valuable aside from the conversation.
Noelia Amoedo, VP Mobile, hi5: General take: Mobile is about self-expression. “For many of our users, mobile is not an option, it’s a need.” Mobile browser penetration in the U.S. is 16 — there’s a lot of things that need to happen before mobile web reaches mass market and we reach the (global) 49 percent of users that have mobile phones…. Monetization: Many times to get adoption need to offer things for free. Users are very used to mobile billing — there were $50 billion in Q1 mobile content revenues. There’s an easy way for users to pay so it’s about creating an application users want to pay for…Product insights: Too early because we just launched our mobile site three weeks ago. The first version focused on what would be quick to do on the phone when you’re on the move. Didn’t even think about including video in the first version.
Evan Tana, Director of Product Management and Marketing, Loopt: Where the opportunities are: Helping people meet those that they don’t know. SMS is easy and popular. Val-Pak makes a quarter-million dollars…Direct relationships with carriers really important. Being pre-loaded on a handset gives us a 30x increase in downloads. And we get direct access to location APIs…Mobile location-based advertising: The real issue is there isn’t enough inventory.
John Faith, General Manager and VP, MySpace Mobile, MySpace: MySpace Music will be PC for now. We’re looking to aggressively enter that space on mobile as well….Opportunities in mobile: Right now it’s all about communication, getting info and reacting to it. User-generated content has not had social network applied to it for mobile…. New products: Video transcends the actual interface between a user having to type something in, being able to upload that to a social network is rather powerful. We just recently announced the ability to upload video directly, so the extension of that on mobile devices is the next step. We purposely left blogs out of our iPhone application because Apple heuristics said stay away from text-heavy apps — so we have developers coding frantically for the next rev… Advertising: We do rev-shares with partners, we try to use mobile to round out the web experience right now. MySpace is very dedicated to creating a fully integrated campaign. Payments: When we first started, mobile had subscription-based model with Helio and AT&T and Danger. In Australia we’re working on billing with carriers where MySpace is part of the up-sell.
Chamath Palihapitiya, VP of Growth, Mobile and International, Facebook: Mobile strategy: Our tools should be available as broad-based and everywhere as possible. Lumping them in can lead to pitfalls. For feature-based services — could be a carrier integrating a photo-based upload service that we built all the way to deeply integrated client experience….Monetization: Revenue comes only after you have a proven usage pattern….New products: Uploading photos from mobile is very popular. Video is the next logical place to go. Qik, Flixwagon — that’s really cool stuff. To the extent that we can enable people to upload directly and then share that with their friends, I think that’s very powerful. Facebook Connect expands Facebook platform to user in any browser, sessions that start on the phone end up elsewhere. Will be available in a matter of months. See also: Facebook to Integrate with Mobile Address Books?