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Social networking's impact on mobile browsing
|26 июня 2009|
Thanks to unlimited data plans and the growth in smartphone adoption, mobile Web browsing is finally getting its day in the sun.
During last week's Webinar, "Making a better mobile browser," hosted by FierceWireless and sponsored by ByteMobile, Mark Donovan of Comscore praised U.S. operators for offering unlimited data plans that encourage and support mobile browsing and he also noted the close tie between social networking and browsing.
Donovan said social networking sites are seeing some of the greatest traffic from those who browse on their phones. People are using their mobile phones to connect to Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. "There is outstanding growth in this category," Donovan said. "Social networking is designed to connect people and that really gets to the heart of what mobile phones do best."
I think Donovan makes a good point. Social networking is key to mobile browsing and as social networking grows in popularity (particularly among the older demographic groups, i.e. Facebook's largest growth is coming from those in their 40s and 50s), perhaps we'll see older demographic groups embrace mobile Web browsing and mobile social networking.
When the mobile content space first talked about the importance of mobile social networking, many companies targeted the youth market with their social networking apps, handsets and services (remember Helio?). But I think the mobile industry needs to shift its focus upwards. Instead of targeting handsets with quick access to social networking sites at the under-30 crowd, maybe the marketing messages should include the middle-aged. We now see advertisements showing kids exchanging text messages with their parents. Perhaps the next step is to show Mom or Dad updating their Facebook status on their mobile phone. That type of message would really signal to the world the link between social networking and mobile browsing and also show that social networking isn't just a teen phenomenon.