Research Highlights Social Networking Opportunity

European research results released by Critical Path, which provides messaging applications, reveal a startling gap between what consumers want from their interaction with social networks and the services available today.
The research was carried out online by Vanson Bourne during August, 2009 amongst a nationally representative sample of 3,000 European consumers aged 16+. The consumers were from six European countries: UK, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden.
It finds that the average consumer has four separate address books across a number of services, including mobile phones and social networks such as Facebook. 68% of people fail to update their address books with contact changes and 91% are frustrated with their out-of-date contact information.
Of the 3,000 consumers surveyed, 75% found the task of updating their contacts across their social networks frustrating; 82% wanted a solution to synchronise their separate address books; and 78% are looking for a simple, easy-to-use solution.
Clear preferences for services were identified a large majority wanted automatic updates from their friends using social networks and, also wanted control over the type of updates they receive.
Critical Path says the research highlights the growing relevance of social networks, and the importance consumers place on their online interactions. The company notes that operators have a clear opportunity to provide solutions to address these consumer frustrations and heighten their role and value in mobile social networking.
Critical Path has introduced Social Address Book, a connected, dynamic and consolidated address book experience for operators to offer their customers. The company says the solution offers customers an easy to use, high value service that enhances their access to Facebook, Twitter, MSN, and other popular sites.
Critical Paths Social Address Book solution helps give consumers the online and mobile experience they are looking for, says Critical Path CEO, Mark Palomba. It propels operators into a much stronger competitive position and enables them to open new revenue streams.