Lately, I've seen telecommunication companies get into mobile blogging and social networking
as I mentioned in my Sun.Star column last February 5.
In order for this to take off, users will have to get used with the idea of mobile blogging, including taking photos and videos
, and learn how to maximize their cellphones for this purpose.
But on the other end, the challenge also is with these telecommunication entities initiated social networks.
Let us start with Globe
who deserves a lot of credit for being experimental and learning as they go along with their mobile blogging and social networking experiments.
The entity recently announced PixLink
that allows Globe mobile phone users to upload photos and videos.
Last year around September 2008, Globe launched Connected24Ever
along with its OMG Barkada event
Last December 2008, Globe AppZone
was announced that allows users to buy applications and developers to offer their programs.
Around 2006 (or was it 2007), there was also G-Blogs
that allows users to maintain a blog. I had my own share of weird experience with that application in its earlier version. Today, the said service is very much computer based.
Independently, they all look good. However, together if integrated, they could even have something better that will not only provide great value to users but to them as a service provider.
The challenge with Globe' mobile blogging & social networking strategy is that users often face a situation where the profile they created may soon be abandoned or deleted as the site no longer has any activity after the big launch. Later on, you'll find the telco starting another one that requires the user to go through the creation stage again. PixLink
is showing a lot of potential and hope that Globe will sustain it with activities and enhancements to further enrich the community experience.
Load Momma & Red Mobile
was launched as a medium for active users to recruit Red Mobile users and receive incentive for it through free load.
The social networking site has a Friendster and Facebook feel. However, as referred users don't get automatically added as a connection, one can end up being blind on who actually signed up in their network. In addition, the lack of activity within, initiated by Red Mobile, that may empower folks to earn more points beyond sending invites still remains to be seen. Relying on active users to start something may be a good start but with so many other social networks vying for attention, it will be interesting to see how they will sustain its growth.
I don't have a public example for Smart Telecommunications at this time but I'm sure they will have something announced soon and will update this post to include their offering (and observations).
Do telcos get it?
I think all telecommunication companies realize the importance of creating social networks and even promote the use of popular ones mobile version. All of this with the intent of driving usage and therefore revenues for them. However, they will have to think beyond data access minutes in order to drive increased usage.