How the Mobile Socialites Network

Originally published in MediaPost. Special thanks to Johanna Werther at AdMob for making this possible. I know I'm not the New York Times and don't seek exclusives, but if it makes sense for you I'm all for exploring story ideas that provide some custom hook or information for my readers in MediaPost, here, or elsewhere.


How Mobile Socialites Network

Given how obsessed people are with social
networks, especially younger consumers who use it to religiously keep
in touch with their friends, it's hardly surprising that mobile social
network usage is skyrocketing. So which networks are benefiting the
most from the trend?

I sought answers from my friends at mobile advertising platform AdMob.
They're able to run surveys through their mobile ad units, and they can
target consumers by which phones they're using, among other options.
They ran a brief study for me and received responses from 71 iPhone
users, 43 smartphone users, and 38 feature phone users (essentially any
other mobile phone). It's not a huge sample size, so consider this more
of a glimpse than a deep dive. But it's a start for understanding
consumer interest in mobile social networking. The full presentation is
available on SlideShare.

The
study covered eight social properties: Facebook, MySpace, Digg,
Twitter, LinkedIn, Mocospace, Peperonity, and Mig33 (the last three are
mobile social networks). To get some sort of benchmark, respondents
were asked about their favorite social networks they use both on mobile
devices and on their computers. Here are some of the findings by device:

iPhone

·      
Over half (52%) of iPhone users preferred to use Facebook the most from
their phone. MySpace (11%) and Twitter (8%) also ranked, but nothing
else came close, unless you count "other" and "I don't use social
networks from my phone."

·       MySpace is much more popular on
the PC than it is on the phone for iPhone users, while Twitter is the
other way around, overrepresented on the phone compared with the PC.

·       Twitter is more popular among iPhone users than it is among any other device user.

·       Nearly two-fifths of iPhone users often engage with social networks from their phones.

Smartphone

·      
Facebook is again the hands-down favorite for the most visited mobile
social network by smartphone users (44% said it's their top preference).

·      
The spread is much more even when asking which network smartphone users
engage with at all from mobile devices: 63% for Facebook, 44% for
MySpace, and 30% for Twitter, with another 12% noting Mocospace. The PC
usage patterns are very similar, with slightly fewer accessing Facebook
and Twitter from the PC.

·       Smartphone users were more
likely than iPhone users to say they often use their phone for social
networking, but also more likely to say they never use their phone that
way.

Feature Phone

·       When it
comes to social network usage on mobile devices, Mocospace is the
dominant network, with 47% of feature phone users calling it their
favorite.

·       Leading networks used by feature phone users on the PC include MySpace (66%), Mocospace (55%), and Facebook (42%).

·       More feature phone users say they use their phone for social networking often — more than they use other devices.

The
results directionally show some of what you might expect: Consumers
with higher-end mobile devices gravitate toward Facebook and Twitter,
and the likely younger feature phone user base is the most interested
in Mocospace. Meanwhile, LinkedIn and Digg are not yet viewed as mobile
properties.

The numbers themselves are just a hint of the
research that can be done as we gain a better understanding of how
mobile social networking differs from the Web experience we're used to.
As more research comes out, we'll explore it here to gauge what's a
fluke and what's a trend.

One thought on “How the Mobile Socialites Network

  1. David,
    The huge potential of social media is in fact in China where the number of mobile users have exceeded 50% with over 670 million users in April 2009, and they have their Chinese versions of Facebook and MSN. The adoption rate by the 15-25 age group is downright explosive.
    I am sure it is going to create a whole new set of possibilities in social networking that will change the ways we interact with one another socially.
    I look forward to seeing more social media findings from you..
    Michael

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