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Informa predicts mobile social networking revenues to hit US$52bn by 2012

Informa Telecoms & Media's report Mobile Social Networking: Communities and Content on the Move Mobile says new features are attracting larger numbers of users and permitting new business opportunities.

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Informa's research concludes that the number of mobile social networking users exceeded 50 million, approximately 2.3% of the global mobile user population on December 31 2007.

Some of these users were registered in multiple mobile communities, engaging with friends, having fun and sharing their passions with others. With only low investments from mobile network operators, the growth in users and community registrations will continue at a CAGR of 30-50%, depending on the type of community and the region. By 2012, there will be between 12.5% penetration of mobile social networks among mobile users globally in the most conservative scenario, approximately 23% in the high growth scenario. 

Mobile Social Networking is approaching or has reached critical mass among mobile subscribers in South Korea and Japan, says Christine Perey, independent analyst, PEREY Research & Consulting, and author of the report.

The US, the Nordic countries and Western Europe are experiencing high growth and other geographies are following. Much of the recent additions have been responses to new WAP-based services which offer engaging communities and exciting features with low obstacles to entry. Both off-deck and on-deck, the latest mobile community platforms are providing rich media experiences that users want on their mobile handsets.

According to Informa, in 2006, Mobile Social Networking revenues exceeded US$1.5 billion and more than doubled in 2007. The revenue growth will accelerate in the next two years but after that point, much depends on mobile network operators’ policies and the interests of users. By 2012 revenues generated from all business models in this industry is forecast to reach US$28.9 billion in the most conservative scenario and $52 billion in the high growth scenario.

Over the next 24 months communities which foster friendships will continue strong growth in users and revenues. Entertainment community segment revenues will overtake in some regions in 2010. Other community segments focusing on productivity, fame and social shopping are beginning to emerge on mobile platforms, diversifying the offers and attracting people of different socioeconomic and demographic profiles to Mobile Social Networking services.

This report is the first of its kind, to keep the hype to one side, and truly focus on what is under the covers of online communities globally. It explores the role of the different players, involved in the value chain of user generated content including the innovative software vendors, trusted operators, and the trendy social networks. This is a hot area at the moment; it is great to see such a comprehensive report that deals with the facts, says Nagappan Arunachalam (Arun) Chief Marketing Officer, NewBay Software.

  • Mobile Social Networking: Communities and Content on the Move is a 270-page report that assesses social, business and technology factors in the Mobile Social Networking equation and provides the most detailed and insightful examination of the market-today and in the future. The report includes important new industry segmentations and introduces a powerful model for quantifying the market growth using three scenarios. In the companion volume, 31 fully operational mobile social networking services are described and their positions/prospects for growth analysed from multiple perspectives. For more information visit

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