A few years ago, I was in a room with knowledgeable cell phone chip engineers and marketers. They were pouring over data that definitively said that consumers would never want their cell phones to do anything other than conduct voice calls. Fast forward to today, and you can see how wrong that thinking and “data” was.
A post today on ReadWriteWeb highlighted recent data that claims the use of mobile social networks will barely go beyond today’s major players. From the ABI Research study …
“According to a recent online survey* conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.”
While I don’t question the themes and undertones of the findings at this particular point in the mobile social era, to try to determine how receptive consumers will be to other mobile social networks and how they will use them at this stage is like trying to call who will win the World Series from the first pitch on opening day.
To see the bigger picture, you have to look at the way networks form, consider geosocial patterns around the world (which are behind the US market in many respects) and understand that social is still the great experiment.
No one knows what is going to happen. But, with the speed at which the space is moving, we’ll know more soon enough.
One thought on “The Truth is … We Don’t Know”
I agree. In fact, I think next jump in social networks is upon us. Two years ago MySpace was all the rage. Then there was a exodus to Facebook. Recently, I have found in conversation that many people have grown bored with Facebook and/or hate the redesign. Since the redesign I find I check it about once a week (or about as often as my third email address).
I think one of two things will happen: MySpace will regain its cache due to its recent music deals or an unwalled mobile social network will emerge. Regardless of MySpaces potential success, I believe in five years (or less) social networking will be predominantly mobile and there will be interconnectivity between networks (unwalled).