Social networking to drive mobile web growth

James Middleton

May 15, 2008

2 Min Read
Social networking to drive mobile web growth

User generated content and social networking will be the driving forces behind the mobile internet, with the global market for Mobile Web 2.0 services forecast to be worth $22.4bn in 2013, up from $5.5bn in 2008.

The key to this growth, according to industry analyst Juniper Research, is that the Mobile Web 2.0 provides an ideal framework for the delivery of collaborative applications, further enhanced and contextualised by Location Based Services (LBS).

Juniper believes a fundamental shift in internet usage patterns is shaping mobile web development, driving subscriber adoption and forcing structural changes within the industry.

At the core of this evolution is the user as a creator as well as a consumer of content and the advent of the social web, which has ushered in a wide variety of social computing tools enabling users to develop detailed web identities, create online communities and communicate with like minded individuals.

“Combining the power of the social network map – namely: ‘who I know, how I know and where I know’ – with that of mobility, presents the greatest opportunity for revenue generation of any of the applications as defined within Juniper’s Mobile Web 2.0 framework,” said Juniper analyst Ian Chard. “The phone is carried with us most of the time and contains a huge amount of personal data, making it a logical extension for the social network and a host of other collaborative Web 2.0 applications being mobilised.”

In all, Juniper predicts that the total global revenues for mobile social networking and UGC will rocket from $1.8bn in 2008, to $11.2bn in 2013, accounting for 50 per cent of the Mobile Web 2.0 market, while growth in mobile search and mobile IM will be more measured.

Within this market, service revenues will account for the lion’s share of total revenues, although the analyst believes mobile advertising represents a significant opportunity.

However, the Mobile Web 2.0 era also creates fresh challenges over and above those typically associated with mobilising internet applications. Carriers must adjust to advertising sponsored strategies and accommodate partnerships with web-based players, while device manufacturers and technology vendors must somehow find the means to stitch together what is at present, a highly-fragmented market.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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