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It's Official: Social Networking Goes Mobile

David Murphy

Research just published by Nielsen Mobile reveals that one in four members of UK social networks use their phones to network. 44% of UK mobile phone subscribers belong to an online social network. Of this group, 25% use their mobile phone for social networking-related activities.
Around 812,000 Britons each month, or 1.7% of all UK mobile subscribers, visited a social networking website using their mobile during the first quarter of 2008. Facebook is the most popular site for mobile social networking, being visited by over 557,000 Britons from their mobiles, or 9% of all UK mobile Internet subscribers. In second place is MySpace (211,000), followed by Bebo (162,000), Windows Live Spaces (109,000), and Flixster (90,000).
Social networking is already a global phenomenon, and mobile could be the next big thing in the space, says Nielsen Mobile Client Services Manager, Kent Ferguson.
Large numbers of people are interacting with their social networking profiles while theyre on the move. There could be increased consumer demand for mobile social networking driven by the flat-fee price plans offered by the leading operators that give subscribers unlimited mobile Internet access.
The most popular mobile social-networking related activities are sending messages and mail (55%); reading messages and mail (47%); viewing photos (33%); uploading photos (29%); and adding friends (21%).
The four most popular social networks on the mobile are also the four most popular on the PC. Travel social network WAYN has the strongest performance on the mobile compared to the PC, ranking 7th on mobile Internet compared to 21st on PC Internet
The increasingly competitive nature of social networking online is being replicated in the mobile space, says Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst at Nielsen Online. The leading players remain the same but networks such as WAYN and Faceparty have considerably improved on their PC ranking in the mobile world. In an effort to differentiate their offerings and pull ahead all the networks are looking to what the mobile medium can offer particularly when it comes to attracting 15-24 year olds, a group highly representative amongst social networking addicts.

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