MySpace, Facebook Lead Mobile Social Networking - InformationWeek

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10/7/2008
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MySpace, Facebook Lead Mobile Social Networking

Despite a slate of newcomers, the major online social networks dominate the mobile space, according to ABI Research.

It appears that mobile social networking users are going to same places they would on the desktop, as new data from ABI Research said MySpace and Facebook are by far the top mobile social networks.

In a new report, titled "Mobile Social Networking User Snapshot," ABI surveyed 500 users of online social networks and found that 46% have used their phone to visit a social network. Of those, 70% have visited MySpace, and 67% have visited Facebook.

"As in the online social networking space, there is clearly a large gap between the big two social networks and the others, "said research director Michael Wolf, in a statement." ABI Research believes this is because consumers do not want to recreate entirely new and separate social networks for mobile, but rather want to tap into their existing social networks and have it go with them via the mobile phone. For most, this means MySpace, Facebook, or even both."

Despite the availability of mobile versions of LinkedIn, Hi5, and others, ABI said no other mobile social networking site reached 15% adoption rate. The main draws for mobile users of MySpace and Facebook were checking comments and messages, as well as updating status, ABI said.

"To a degree, it allows them to centralize messaging, communication, and even digital media consumption through a centralized property on various screens," said Wolf. "We believe this centralization of a consumer's digital lifestyle through social networks will only increase adoption of mobile social networking in coming years."

To capitalize on this "centralization," Yahoo rolled out an application for the iPhone that essentially creates a socially connected address book. The OneConnect app lets iPhone users have one screen to see all the status updates of their friends on sites like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.

While MySpace and Facebook dominate the mobile space right now, neither has location-based functionality, which could possibly open the door for companies like Loopt, Brightkite, and more.

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