Friends of mine know that I'm a Luddite when it comes to phones. Well, not really a Luddite - I'm not smashing them or anything like that - I'm just someone who doesn't care very much about using one for more than calling someone.
It's much more likely that I will listen to The Who sing "Going Mobile" than it is that I will willingly go mobile with any more than my free phone. (Of course, I have purchased two smartphones - for my sons.)
Unfortunately, for me, most of the world disagrees about this.
Smartphones are selling very well. Social networks are very popular. So it's like peanut butter and chocolate; they just had to get together.
According to ABI Research, nearly half of social networking users (46%) have visited a social network on a mobile device.
70% of those users have visited MySpace and 67% have visited Facebook. No other social network, including those specialized for mobile devices, even reached 15% adoption. That's dominance.
ABI Research concludes that consumers do not want new social networks for mobile phones.
“As in the online social networking space, there is clearly a large gap between the big two (MySpace and Facebook) social networks and the others,” says research director Michael Wolf. “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 network and have it go with them via the mobile phone. For most, this means MySpace, Facebook, or even both.”
What are people doing that's social on those phones? Checking for comments and messages from friends is what more than half are doing, and about 45% of users post status updates Twitter-style. Their behavior mimics what social things they already do on their computer. Nothing new.
I would conclude that this really means that we have still not seen the "killer app" of social networking gone mobile. Some kid is playing around with something as you read this that will knock Facebook & MySpace (at least as they now exist) off phones. With all the developers creating apps for the iPhone and especially for the more open Android Google phone platform, it won't be long. It will probably use GPS and other goodies that your home computer can't use.
If only Tim and I had more free time...