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Mobile social media booming by 2012

iStock_000003640525XSmall.jpgI came across an interesting study from Juniper Research about their forecast for mobile social networking. As I've said before, I think this is a huge growth are that is almost entirely untapped.

As phone data network speeds rise and device functionality improves here in the US, the possibilities are almost endless. I know personally, I can operate almost entirely from my phone in a pinch (email, IM, MS Office docs, blog posts, camera shots to Flickr, etc.), but it's getting easier for everybody to jump in.

Here are some key data points from the release that I think you'll find interesting:

  • End-user generated revenues will increase from $572m in 2007 to $5.7b in 2012
  • Social networking will account for 50% of that
  • Active users of social networking will increase from 14m to 600m in 2012
  • Downloads from mobile content delivery services will increase from 200m to 9b in 2012

The study notes that data fees are really the largest obstacle right now, but I think we're seeing the start of these rates coming down as demand surges and competition heats up. Look for ad-funded models to also gain traction to off-set cost. The model needs, however, to deliver on value to the end user.

Could the next Facebook be mobile-only?

Could the next Facebook be mobile-only? Could you share more with people if your device automatically uploaded everything to this network (imagine that each photo you took was automatically sent to your mobile account)? Your phone's GPS could auto-publish where you are and text/voice/video messaging would all be integrated seamlessly. I think it's a possibility.

What do you think?

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