In Mobile social networks, don’t go it alone Katie Fehrenbacher writes:
The web-based social network boom and the rising use of cell phones for non-voice functions, makes the trendy ‘mobile social network’ phenomenon an obvious area for investment. But the reality is that it’s difficult to base a business off of just turning an unknown brand into a single mobile social network.
The rest of the piece goes on to talk about the difficulties of porting the social networking experience (say, for instance, MySpace) to a mobile environment, or creating a new social networking experience in the mobile environment. Is porting an existing social networking experience a handset the right experience, though? Handsets are different from PCs, and from the web. Location, bandwidth, cost, and presence are all different in a handset environment than a PC environment. Moreover, handsets contain the core asset of the social network, which is the address book.
Perhaps as we think about social networks on mobile devices, the core experience shouldn't be shared content, but rather shared experiences. Rather than emulate MySpace on a handset, perhaps the right experience is closer to facebook. Or, dare I say it, for business users… iotum's own Talk-Now.
Food for thought.