Saturday, December 23, 2006

Social Networks: More Tools, Younger Market Segment, Altering Advertisement Revenue

For the past two years, we've seen how social networking sites became increasingly popular in the Philippines. It even spurred the creation of localized social networking sites.

For 2007, a lot of social networking endeavors that will be launched online will heavily focused on new niche networks, the pre-teen girls market to be exact.

Digital Media Exchange, Inc., an online game distributor and digital entertainment provider based in the Philippines, has just released its family-oriented website mobiuskids in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. The site offers educational games and activities centered on child learning and family interaction. Upon launch, it introduced two popular casual online games -- Disney's massively multiplayer online game Toontown Online and virtual pet game GoPets. The site also has a child-centered social networking feature, arcade game downloads, piggybank, task scheduler, and goal tracker.

Last month, SanrioTown was also launched. New features were added on the existing online community services such as forum and free e-mail as well as download services, new social networking features havebeen launched on Sanriotown, which already has a current user-base of almost 2 million world wide.

Globe Telecom also launched myGlobe IMEVRYWHR integrated communications service. This allows users to share information using a range of integrated voice, messaging, content options, G-Cash services, Share-A-Load service, and AskG search function. Globe Telecom's partner in this service is fastmobile who announced a partnership with Yahoo! early this year to bring its multimedia features to select Yahoo! mobile users. Its Yahoo! Messenger application enables users to send voice instant messages or cameraphone photos within an active conversation.

This is perhaps the way to go in social networking too as it is predicted that there'll be 174 million mobile social communities members worlwide by 2011, according to an ABI Research Brief, and has found that "mobile social communities" currently count nearly 50 million members worldwide. This opens opportunities to monetize for carriers and value-added service providers.

This dynamic growth on the Internet is also affecting advertising spending and revenue impact. Google generates more revenue now compared to traditional TV networks.

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