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June 13, 2006 at 12:06 PM

The skinny on social networking to go

Seattle research firm M:Metrics released findings today that sheds light on what is really happening with social networking on the phone.

A survey found that 6.7 percent of Americans reported they used mobile phones in April to upload photos or videos to the Web, chat or use dating applicationsl. The firm, which also covers parts of Europe, said the British are the most inclined to use the phone for social networking, with 10.1 percent using social networking applications, compared with 7.2 percent of Germans and 6.5 percent of French.

The demographics of subscribers who engage in user-generated content are similar across the countriies, with students between 13 and 17 being the most predisposed to the activity. Males are more active, comprising 56.2 percent of the audience in the U.K., 59 percent in Germany, 62.4 percent in the U.S. and 56.8 percent in France.

The question of how these applications are being used stems from the eagerness of carriers to roll out new services. Cingular Wireless has partnered with MySpace to sell ringtones of music from independent bands and send text alerts when people receive a message on the MySpace site. Other carriers have launched blogging applications and most offer instant messaging and dating applications.

Many believe that the mobile phone will be the hot device for social network. The idea that you can network while on the go makes more sense than waiting to sit down at your computer and update your circle of friends.

In the U.S., M:Metrics said T-Mobile USA having the most active subscribers, wth 10 percent of its subscribers using social networking applications.

“As we have seen with the rise in MySpace, YouTube and Flickr, there is a substantial population of connected creators on the Web,” M:Metrics’ Mark Donovan. “With as many as 10 percent of mobile subscribers participating in this activity over the operator network, there is a sizable business here across the entire mobile sector, which will only grow when more of these sites fully integrate mobile access.”

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