Mobile social networking goes mainstream

The tipping point for business social networking via mobile phones happened this week. Did you feel it?

Two weeks ago, I shared my belief in this space that mobile social networking will become the most important business technology since e-mail.

I spoke about the phenomenon as growing to prominence over the next few years. But so much has happened in this space in just the past week, I'd like to revise my prediction: Mobile social networking for business is going mainstream not in the future, but now.

It's happening on two fronts: This past week has seen a flood of announcements from major companies about new mobile social networking services. The second front is end users. All this industry activity has sparked widespread interest and engagement in mobile social networking. Twitter, Facebook and other social sites have been burning up the wires this week talking about, linking to and getting on mobile social networking services.

Here's what happened since my initial prediction two weeks ago.

Visto

Perpetual startup Visto announced this week a new offering called Visto Mobile 6 , which uses Visto "push" technology to update you on the activities of social networking connections. The initial service will constantly check Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Photobucket and other social networks, and notify you when "friends" make changes or updates. Visto has not announced a ship date.

Two features separate Visto from other mobile social networking services. First, the social networking notifications are integrated into the unified view, which also includes e-mail and contacts. Visto promises something it calls a "living address book," which combines contact information with profile information from social networks. Second, it uses Visto's ConstantSync push technology. So instead of actively checking or refreshing Visto, the service can notify you that something new has happened. Presumably this can be controlled by the user, so you can protect yourself against pointless changes.

AT&T and Verizon

AT&T announced this week a US$2.99-per-month service called " My Communities ," and Verizon announced a similar service for US$1.49 per month called SocialLife that enables customers to stay in touch with social networks. Both are based on a social networking platform called ANTHEM from Intercasting Corp . Sprint and T-Mobile already offer ANTHEM-based services.

NewBay

A company called NewBay Software announced this week version 2.0 of its LifeCache service. LifeCache aggregates feeds from Facebook, Bebo, YouTube and MySpace on a mobile phone application. The service is sold not to users, but to carriers, which can offer it to customers using J2ME, Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone and RIM phones. US Cellular announced a deal this week with NewBay to use LifeCache.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mike Elgan

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?