Wed, Aug 15, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Study urges mobile operators to boost social network offerings to lure users

BLOOMBERG

Mobile-phone companies need more social network offerings as revenue from mobile use of services like YouTube and Facebook may soar to US$5.7 billion within five years, Juniper Research said.

Sales of mobile-phone offerings allowing consumers to create and exchange content, including videos, pictures and blogs, may jump to US$5.7 billion in 2012 from US$572 million this year, Juniper Research said.

It forecast mobile users of such services will increase to 600 million from 14 million during this period.

The "astonishing success" of Internet sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Facebook could be repeated on mobile phones, the study published yesterday said.

The growth and high profit margins of social networking products such as Mobile Cyworld, a South Korean mobile community site, indicate "there is huge potential in this area," the report said.

The challenge for mobile-phone companies is to develop offerings that match the needs of consumers, the study said, adding that most sites are "still in their infancy."

Mobile dating and chatroom services will also drive demand, although these offerings will grow at a slower rate, Hampshire, UK-based Juniper Research predicted.

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