Mobile Social Applications: How Carriers Can Help the Conversation

Carl Ford : 4G Wireless Evolution
Carl Ford
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Mobile Social Applications: How Carriers Can Help the Conversation

The panel here at 4GWE on Mobile Social Applications picked up a theme from Brough Turner's earlier presentation -- that there is a big potential audience for applications that make use of mobile data owned by the provider, such as a user's location, their status, etc., especially when linked in a sharing fashion, such as on Facebook or Twitter.

Troy Cross, head of sales at voice-recognition supplier Vlingo, said that mobile access to social networking applications "allows you to connect to your friends faster," a "significant behaviorial change" as opposed to updating Facebook only when you are sitting behind a PC or laptop.

Shoshana Loeb, executive director and chief scientist at Telcordia, said there will be personal tradeoffs that will determine how successful mobile social media devices and applications will be -- such as cost for perceived value, and whether or not people feel comfortable allowing personal data like location to be shared.

"The technology allows you to lose your privacy much more easily" than in the past, Loeb said, guessing that governments everywhere will soon look more closely at the privacy concerns of mobile customers. Vlingo's Cross also predicted a "tsnuami" of regulation related to use of mobile data while driving, as consumers go on beyond simple "texting while driving" to trying to update a Facebook page while behind the wheel.

Nokia's Timothy Jasionowski opined that the industry now is at the state of "throwing rocks at each other," but that widespread availability of GPS-enabled phones has "opened up a giant laboratory" for experimentation. One unanswered question from the audience: How can corporations make use of mobile social networking technologies? Ideas? Leave 'em in the comments section below.



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