Tag Archives: socialmedia

Will the facebook phone conquer the mass-market?

Walt Mossberg, katherine Boehret and Monty Metzger I talked with Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret about the key trends of the mobile telecommunication industry. Walt mentions the dynamics in Software-Innovation and the development of low-cost devices with attractive software features for the average consumers. A lot of devices are developing software applications, user-interfaces and hardware devices similar to the iPhone, says Katherine.

Walt and Katherine agreed that INQ has picked up both trends to create the first Social Mobile, aka “the facebook phone”.

INQ Mobile, a new Hutchison Whampoa company, is creating a category of consumer devices that put social networking, email and instant messaging at the heart of innovative mass-market mobiles. The company launched the INQ1 in October of 2008 and offers low-prizes cellphones for the facebook generation.

“More than 20 million Facebook users currently access the site through their mobile devices. This number has quadrupled over the last 12 months and we expect it to continue to grow as more people begin to connect with their friends and family through Facebook on innovative mobile devices, like the INQ,” said Henri Moissinac, director of mobile, Facebook.

Frank Meehan, CEO of INQ Mobile“The way people communicate has evolved, but mass market devices have remained anchored to just voice and text. INQ set out to change this. We created a new mobile device platform that would transform the consumer experience with always-on, easy to use, Internet driven communication services, and we designed it to deliver positive economics to operators” said Frank Meehan, CEO of INQ Mobile.

Frank Meehan has given a speech at the Mobile World Congress in February 2009.
You can watch the full speech here.

About INQ Mobile:
INQ Mobile is a standalone company wholly owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited. INQ Mobile is the maker of the INQ1, the world’s first Social Mobile to integrate email, IM and social networking in an intuitive way. INQ draws on the strengths of its parent company, which made an early investment in global 3G networks based on a fundamental belief that 3G changes the way people communicate and was formed to address a growing need for advanced mobile internet handsets from operators across the world.

MoSoSo & SNS, the future driver of the mobile internet?

There was a recent news from Comscore about how Mobile Social Software (MoSoSo) and Social Networking Services (SNS) drive the development of the mobile internet in Europe.

I also agree on the impact of mobile SNS as driver for the mobile internet. Therefore I want to share some of my thoughts and experiences about mobile SNS available in more mature markets like Japan.

Mobile Game Town - MOBAGE LogoLets have a quick look at two of the most successful mobile SNS platforms in Japan, Mixi and MobileGameTown (MoBaGe).

Mixi is (still) Japans most popular SNS service with around 15 million registered users, a quite impressive number achieved in less than 4 years.

Mixi started as a PC based SNS service and later also introduced a mobile version. The company for a long time put its main focus on the PC based site and mobile mixi was more considered an add-on or a quick access tool. But this changed quickly, as on average around 30% of mixis access came through the mobile phone. So mixi started to extend its mobile service adding more and more functions for mobile users.

Now mobile became the main platform of mixi: Over 55% of the access to the site is mobile access.

Other SNS companies even ignored the PC and started their service right on the mobile phone:

MobileGameTown (MoBaGe) by DeNA combines casual mobile games, avatars, and SNS services. Users can play free casual games create their own avatar, set up a virtual apartment, watch videos, write blogs and meet others in online communities. The platform also has its own virtual currency called Moba Gold.

Just within less than 6 month of the launch registrations surpassed 6.5 million and they are now at over 10.5 million and still growing. And different from Mixi, MoBaGe is only available on the mobile phone!

And despite this, it looks like it will overtake mixi in the long run because the whole service is tailored around the needs of mobile users and not just the mobile extension of a PC based service.

So even in Japan, the mobile SNS boom is still growing after over 4 years. Here people seem more apt to engage in social network services through their mobile phone than through their PC. And it makes sense because for many people around the globe their mobile phone is and extension of their social self.

I deeply believe SNS are drivers for the mobile internet. And this makes sense because -as I have already mentioned elsewhere- the mobile phones DNA is “social”. Very different from the PC which was not initially built for social interaction but for processing data

The mobile phone was built as a social device. Its main purpose was to to keep in touch, to connect, to communicate, Many functions of modern SNS have been core functions of the mobile phone for a long time so it is just natural to turn this device from a social hub into a mobile internet social network hub.