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.
“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.