updated 01:15 am EDT, Thu August 16, 2007
Mobile social networking
With Facebook recently debuting an iPhone-optimized version of its Web site, the interest in mobile-based social networking is reaching a fever pitch. Research firm M:Metrics revealed in a study that 12.3 million consumers in the United States and Western Europe reported accessing a social networking site with their mobile device in the month of June. The American audience for mobile social networking sites was the largest, with 7.5 million, or 3.5 percent, of mobile subscribers. Italy follows, with 1.3 million or 2.8 percent, then the UK with 1.1 million, or 2.5 percent, Spain with 751,000 (2.3 percent), Germany (1.9 percent) and France (1.7 percent).
MySpace and Facebook are the top two social networking sites accessed via mobile in both the U.S. and UK. MySpace attracts 3.7 million U.S. and 440,000 UK mobile users. In America, Facebook's mobile audience is about 2 million, and in Britain, about 307,000. Rounding out the top three is YouTube in the U.S., with 901,000 mobile visitors and Bebo in the UK, with 288,000. YouTube on iPhone usage was not under measurement at the time of the survey.
In the US, in June, text messaging was the most popular mobile application, with about 88 million subscribers using it. Photo messaging (the iPhone does not currently support MMS) was a distant second with around 37 million users. Personal e-mail, ringtone purchasing, and mobile instant messaging filled in the rest of the top mobile applications.