Reports have recently shown that a third of all young people regularly check Facebook and Twitter on their mobile phones. Facebook, which is the most popular social networking site out of Bebo, Myspace and Twitter combined, is the culprit in driving mobile net usage. Teens have realised that not as many people use Twitter, making any ‘tweets’ less appealing. The youngsters are not as bothered by music and videos on their phone- social networking sites are key, with Facebook being the way forward.
24-35 year olds are most likely to buy content on their mobile phones. Mobile operators will be jumping with joy with this news, but they are going to have to think carefully about network charges if they are to keep their new found target market smiling. There is quite a strong gender divide when it comes to internet access via mobile phones; with twice as many men than women using the facility. Network operators are going to have to think of ways to market this to women… no, just making it all pretty and pink isn’t going to work!
In addition to the networks, manufacturers are sitting up and taking notice. Simply supporting sites such as Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough any more with manufacturers going above and beyond to offer full compatibility. Take the HTC Hero which puts Facebook details into your contacts list and displays status updates and notifies you of new photos your friends have uploaded. And the Hero isn’t alone, the Nokia N97 supports live web feeds and lets users add widgets for Facebook and Twitter to the home screen. These shortcuts can remain online ensuring new tweets and Facebook messages are displayed on your N97 in real time. So it seems as far as Networks and manufacturers are concerned, Social Networking Phones are the future.