O2 has unveiled a partnership with MySpace to bring social networking to the mobile. The tie-up will enable O2 customers to view, track and contribute to their MySpace pages on the move for social networking on the go. An O2 survey among the networks customers found that the number one piece of content that they craved outside search was access to their social networking pages.
The service is expected to go live early in November and, to ensure widespread use and adoption, all O2 customers with a data-enabled handset will receive free data usage relating to the MySpace site on the O2 network throughout November and December. With over 80% of O2 customers owning a data-enabled device, a huge range of O2s customers will be able to take advantage of this service and experience MySpace for absolutely nothing, the company says.
MySpace is playing an increasingly important part in peoples social lives, says O2. From communicating with friends, viewing their latest photos and arranging social calendars, to making new contacts or even just ensuring youre still in the loop social networking has become an everyday way of communicating. O2 believes mobile crosses over into many of these areas, so the next logical step is to integrate the two.
MySpace represents one of the largest social networking sites in the UK, with 10.2 million unique visitors in August according to Internet stats company Comscore. Further research has revealed that MySpace is now visited by one in every five Britons with online access and it is continuing to extend its reach, with the average MySpace user spending nine hours on the site in August this year.
We want to be one of the first mobile operators to fully exploit the new phenomenon that is social networking, and by working with MySpace we can now take the site mobile, providing our customers with any-time access to this social network, turning their online friends into anytime friends, says O2 UK CEO, Matthew Key. We believe that, in the future, mobile will have a really important role to play in social networking, as people will want to update their profiles on the move and see what their friends and family are up to throughout their day, rather than being tied to a PC.
JP Sanchez, VP of Business Development for MySpace Europe, adds:
Both O2 and MySpace are progressive companies looking to provide new and exciting products to millions of people. For MySpace users, their profile is at the heart of their online and offline lives. This deal will give them anytime, anywhere access, and keep them in touch at all times.
O2 customers need to call 2112 to have a free browsing link set up on their handset. Free access to MySpace will also be available from Whats New on the O2 Active portal from November. 15.8 million O2 customers have access to O2 Active across over 240 handset types. With over 650 million page impressions every month, 5 million 30-day active users and 7.5 million 90-day users, it is, says O2, the most popular mobile data portal of all the UK mobile networks.
After the free data usage period has expired, O2 has developed two offers which will allow cheaper mobile browsing. The first, O2 Web Bolt on, offers unlimited browsing for 7.50 per month, though a 200MB per month fair usage policy applies. It is available only with a voice subscription, and not compatible with BlackBerry.
The second, O2 Web Max, is designed for use with a PC or data card. This offers unlimited browsing and data usage for 30 per month. This package requires a minimum 12-month data contract and the fair usage policy is set at 3GB per month.