Mobile Social Networking Starting to Gain Momentum

May 8, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Europe & Middle East | Media & Entertainment | Youth & Gen X

A growing number of mobile phone subscribers worldwide are taking online social networking to the streets, accessing social networks over the mobile internet, according to research from Nielsen Mobile.

In the US, more than 4 million do so each month, Nielsen said. That’s 1.6% of all US mobile subscribers.

The UK leads Europe with 812,000 – or 1.7% of UK? mobile subscribers – who visited social networking websites on their mobile phones per month in the first quarter of 2008.

That 1.7% reach was twice as much as other major European markets’:

nielsen-mobile-social-networking-us-europe.jpg

Other findings issued by Nielsen:

  • In the US, MySpace.com, the leading social networking site among PC users, is also the most popular mobile internet social networking site. The site logged 2.8 million unique mobile users in December 2007.
  • Also in December, Facebook, which has the second-largest audience among social networking sites, had 1.8 million unique mobile users.
  • In contrast, Facebook led mobile social networking sites in the UK with 557,000 unique mobile users per month in 1Q08, while MySpace followed with 211,000 unique mobile users.
  • While Facebook and MySpace.com were also among the top social networking sites in other European countries during the first quarter of 2008, MSN’s Windows Live Spaces led in Italy (154,000 unique mobile users per month) and France (106,000), and ranked second in Germany (45,000).

“Social networking is already a global phenomenon, and going mobile is the next big thing,” said Jeff Herrmann, vice-president of Mobile Media at Nielsen Mobile. “In the UK and the US especially, we already see millions of users of MySpace.com, Facebook and other social networks interacting with their virtual spaces while they’re on the go.”

“Consumer demand for mobile social networking may be a significant driver of mobile service pricing models, as evidenced by Vodafone UK’s recent move to offer unlimited internet access as a standard feature of its new monthly mobile price plans,” he added.

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