MASTERCLASSING

Vodafone NZ Joins Bebo Open Mobile Program

David Murphy

AOL People Networks has unveiled Vodafone New Zealand as the next mobile operator to join Bebo's Open Mobile Program, which offers the mobile industry a suite of tools to provide their customers access to the Bebo social networking experience. Through the Open Mobile Program, Bebo is working with operators, handset manufacturers and mobile software developers to help them promote, distribute and monetize mobile social media.
Vodafone New Zealand is deploying Bebo Open Mobile Messaging, enabling it to offer SMS messaging to customers through the 2802 Shortcode. Users will receive Bebo SMS alerts directly to their mobile phone, and will be able to update Bebo profiles, add photos to their gallery, give virtual gifts and interact with friends. Bebo Open Mobile Messaging is available to all Vodafones mobile customers.
Beboers can now choose to get SMS txt updates sent free to their Vodafone mobiles and for 20c per text, update their pages directly via SMS when theyre out and about. Vodafone New Zealand customers can sign-up for this service immediately through the mobile section of the Bebo website and the Bebo mobile Internet site.
Text messaging is a primary lifeline for everyone and everything that Bebo users want to connect with on their phones, says Bebo Global Head of Mobile, Bebo, Sean Kane. Mobile Messaging drives great value for operators and users worldwide as it unites ubiquitous text messaging with the Bebo community and the content they care about.
Vodafone is the second carrier in New Zealand to join the Bebo Open Mobile Program after the announcement of Telcom, and building on the announcement of other operators, including 3 Ireland, O2 in the UK and all major Canadian mobile operators.
A month ago, Bebo revealed that January mobile page views grew by 44% and text messaging traffic by 13% month on month following the launch of Bebo Open Mobile. AOL People Networks says it expects to make further announcements regarding Bebo Open Mobile Partners and initiatives in the US and Internationally throughout 2009.