Growing Engagement Gives Rise to Mobile Social Phones

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How much time do you think consumers spend engaging in social networking on their mobile phones? Would you believe nearly 60 percent? Ground Truth, a Seattle-based mobile measurement firm, said today that it’s found consumers use their phones for social networking activities a staggering 59.83 percent of the time.

And INQ’s Social Mobile, which it unveiled at February’s Mobile World Congress Show, is just one of numerous handsets aimed at riding the cresting wave of engagement through social networking features:

  • Motorola’s (s mot) Motoblur — Announced in September at our Mobilize 09 event, Motoblur is a customized interface for Motorola’s Android phones that shows real-time status updates from Facebook, Twitter and MySpace right on the home screen. Users can update their own status directly through any Motorola phone that supports Motoblur — such as the Cliq or Backflip — making the interface a two-way social portal.
  • Microsoft (s msft) Kin — Two Kin models were announced this month that are targeted squarely at the social networking teenager. The phones support simple drag-and-drop sharing of pictures, video, and location on Facebook, My Space, Twitter and Windows Live. And all content shared or created on the phones is available online in a unique timeline.
  • Sony Ericsson (s sne) (s eric) Zylo and Spiro — Just announced two weeks ago, the Zylo and Spiro combine the music features of the Walkman brand with native Facebook and Twitter applications. Users can share not only their current status, but tell the world what tunes they’re enjoying in real time.
  • Nokia (s nok) C3, C6, and E5 — This trio of social networking handsets from Nokia were also introduced earlier this month. Each offers quick access to read or update status on Facebook or Twitter, but also tie into Nokia’s own Ovi service, which adds image sharing and instant messaging features.

While most modern phones allow for installing social networking applications or using the web to check and update one’s status, it may not be long before all phones offer native and direct ties to the big social networks. The open question then, is: Will the data networks be able to handle the demand created by all of us tweeting, sharing photos and using Facebook from our phones?

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

10 Comments

Ray

“While most modern phones allow for installing social networking applications or using the web to check and update one’s status …”

I think that statement sums it up. I think we’re “riding the never ending wave” of product differentiation where manufacturers try to raise their products above the rabble with claims of features that support the whims of the moment.

Karthik Prabhu

Social Networking is really on the rise. There are lots of people who use social networking. People tweet from their place of work, when they are on a holiday, etc. You can find people tweeting about almost everything that they do. We have all become social networking addicts. But, Social networking also helps you to keep in contact with your old schoolmates, family, friends etc. With lots of people turning towards social networking, it creates a need of social networking phones, that help people send real time updates. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare etc. are some places where you can see people sending real time updates via their cell phone. A lot of people are switching from the web to their cell phones for using these services. But, this requires them to download a third party app. With rise in Mobile Social Phones, more and more people will switch to using the mobile for social networking.

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