Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Online networkers prefer computers to cellphones

Reuters reports that "wireless companies hoping to emulate the success of online teen hangout Web sites like on cellphones are finding it hard to entice teenagers away from their computers." Citing research from JupiterResearch, the article notes that "less than 1 percent of U.S. cellphone users engage in mobile social networking. This is partly because wireless providers need to make the services easier to use and to accept that they will be unlikely to attract the same kind of usage as desktop services."

Ovum analyst Roger Entner said, "The traditional handset doesn't lend itself to writing major novels or pouring your heart out."

Entner added, "What the cellphone can help with is immediacy. If you see your favorite rock star right now you can take the picture, upload it to your site and tell your 5,000 closest friends who you just saw."

Jupiter analyst Julie Ask noted "fewer than 10 percent of U.S. mobile users who send text messages use it for flirting or dating. So if social network sites incorporate technology that pinpoints a user's location they may have a better appeal."

Ask said, "If they take something people are doing like dating or flirting, and make it a richer, easier-to-use experience, then I think there's more potential people will buy in."