Social networking goes mobile:

Can you name one thing which you see perennially everywhere? Did I hear the answer as ‘Mobile’? Well, Yes, you are absolutely right.  With the introduction of 3G in India soon, we will see internet rates come down and more Value-added Services. But it is more useful for people on the move and wants constant access to the internet. What does this mean for the marketer, more people will use social networking sites to be in contact with friends and this means products and services can be targeted at this audience.

Mobile social networking is fast becoming a fad in India. Limited to the small mobile screen, one can use the tiny key pads on the phone to remain connected with friends anywhere anytime. One can log on to popular social networking sites like Facebook, Orkut, Twitter and many more, using the GPRS technology on their mobile phones.

Cashing in on the trend, Indian social networking sites like BigAdda launched their mobile version late last year. Consider a cell phone addict like me.

On a holiday in Shimla, I was constantly glued to my mobile phone — not calling or texting but scrapping and walling his friends on their profiles on Facebook and Orkut. ‘For many youngsters like me, the key to stay in touch with their friends is now to remain hooked to mobile social networking. Thus there isn’t the necessity to have a Laptop and an internet connection.

Corporate executive see this as a big boon for them. Due to their constant traveling schedule, they do not get actual time to spend with their friends and catch up on stories.

When we are traveling and do not have access to the internet, especially if we are in the interiors of India or aboard on a vacation where its costly or a cyber café isn’t available easily, we cannot upload our photos for our family and friends.

It’s mostly people in the age group of 16-35 who access social networking sites more frequently. The youth today is sporting the best of mobile handsets which enable them to constantly stay in touch with their peer. Having the latest gadget with all features is a style statement for these youngsters.

However there is an opposite version to this story. Accessing these sites from the phone is both impractical and expensive. Thus many people prefer to avoid phone calls unless absolutely necessary.

Also many heavy graphic photos or documents or softwares cannot be opened on the cell phone. This results in frustration when you want to access any stuff.

Speaking about the trends, psychologists said since socialising is a major need of human beings, there is a constant urge to find new means of communication. The youth today wants to be a part of the social scenario and would use any means of communication to stay connected whether it is the mobile or the computer. However, the youth need to be careful and responsible enough and should use the new technology ‘judiciously’.

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