September 3, 2016
Online social networking is clearly a huge market and not only is it already big, it continues to grow in strength, but what happens when all those virtual best buddies step away from their beloved PCs?
Not very long ago that meant that they were lost in the boring real world until they could make it back in front of their computers.
But now that is also changing rapidly with the switch towards mobile social networking.
Mobile versions of their favourite social networks, running via cellular phones are becoming popular very quickly so even when you are out in the real world you can still visit your virtual friends.
According to the highly respected ABI Research there predictions are that by 2013, over 140 million subscribers will make social networking an “anytime, anywhere” experience and the service will become so popular that it will manage to generate over $410 million per annum in subscriptions.
ABI claim that the increase over the next three to four years will not be that dramatic and that in fact it is the period after that, it will show the fastest rate of growth.
But there is a big fly in this virtual market that depends on the rate of uptake in developing markets in particular Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
ABI consider those counties to be what it calls “wildcards” and it is difficult to estimate how deep penetration may go.
If they have underestimated the numbers the difference could be very dramatic indeed, given that nearly three billion people call those countries home.
Operators will be looking for somewhere between $1.99 or $2.99 a month per subscriber for social network access.
At the moment networks such as MySpace and Facebook are free, but the service is very limited compared to the full-on PC available versions.
These small monthly fees could easily be subsidised by advertising revenues that could be very specifically targeted due to the nature of social networking.
Users of social networks have already been shown to consume three times as much digital mobile content (pictures, music, videos and games) as regular mobile internet users.