A fascinating article found its way to me courtesy of a link from a new-found colleague of mine, Wendy Rosen.
The NYT reports on a phenomenon that is sweeping the globe — the mobile-based social network.
I thought it was cool to be able to Twitter via my mobile, but that is kiddy stuff compared to what is coming down the pipe.
To give you an idea of what is in store, check out this snippet:
Mr. Harple, an American technology entrepreneur, does not consider it unusual that so many mobile social networks originate outside the United States, which has dominated the Internet business.
“I moved to Europe because I thought the U.S. venture capital community — which I was a part of — was myopic,” he said. “They can’t see the global significance of what is happening.”
Mr. Harple predicted GyPSii “could have more users in one year than Facebook had in three.”
The prize, as these start-ups see it, is the 3.3 billion cellphone subscribers, a number that far surpasses the total of Internet users. The advantage over computer-based communities, they believe, is the ability to know where a cellphone is, thanks to global positioning satellites and related technologies.
The market research company Informa Telecoms said in a report last month that about 50 million people, or about 2.3 percent of all mobile users, already use the cellphone for social networking, from chat services to multimedia sharing. The company forecast that the penetration rate would mushroom to at least 12.5 percent in five years.
What with Linden Lab and other platform developers being close to releasing mobile phone versions of their virtual worlds, more and more advertisers starting to wonder how they are going to approach the mobile phone market, and Nokia recently releasing an SDK to developers who want to create ads for mobiles (and let us not forget Adobe’s CS3 packages contain integrated software to help develop visual, flash-based content for mobiles) and the whole world is about to turn again.