Facebook may have overtaken MySpace here in the U.S. but MySpace mobile is reporting significant growth, at an even faster rate internationally than its U.S. growth. According to MySpace, the last six months has shown over 50% increase in mobile usage for the U.S., with an 80% increase in mobile usage in Europe. The Asian mobile market for MySpace has gone up 60% in that same time period.
So what’s with all the mobile growth? Smart phones like the Apple iPhone, and an increase in social media driven mobile applications make it easier to stay connected with friends and share media across social networks even when you’re on the go. To ramp up MySpace’s mobile efforts, the mainstream social network has announced the support in conjunction with the Palm and Nokia at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with more mobile announcements to come as co-founder Chris DeWolfe will be keynoting on Thursday.
With the inclusion of Palm and Nokia support, MySpace now covers that gamut of all smartphone platforms, including the iPhone, Android, RIM and Sidekick. This seems to be an important achievement for MySpace, as it continues to roll out its mobile efforts. Such mobile efforts are especially important for MySpace on an international level, given the demographics and mobile web usage in other countries including those in Asia.
To this end, MySpace is also launching an entirely new version of its mobile website later this week, with an improved interface and better user design. Also important with the new mobile version of MySpace–better opportunities for branding and advertisement.
Now, we’ve already learned that social networking is helping to drive larger adoption rates for mobile web usage, especially overseas. But MySpace’s new dedication towards branding and advertisement is a re-focused initiative that we haven’t seen largely with other versions of mainstream social networks. This is important, especially for networks like MySpace, which are seeing larger growth rates on their mobile sites with very distinct efforts on expanding their reach through mobile web usage. In order to continue to monetize these efforts, MySpace should be readily focused on bringing advertisements and branding options into their mobile version.
I think the time is ripe for MySpace and other social networks to place more attention on monetizing their mobile versions. We’ve seen some movement in this direction with third party developers making their own networks applicable to a social network as well as one’s mobile devices, broadening opportunities for advertisers seeking to target the social network’s demographic. But a concerted effort coming directly from the social networks themselves is something we’re likely to see more of in he coming year. With MySpace launching its new mobile version in 13 languages with 29 localized countries, it’s apparent that MySpace is hoping to continue to capitalize on its existing mobile presence.
This all comes days after MySpace’s involvement with the Symbian Foundation, which is looking to make the Symbian platform an open mobile platform for developers. While Facebook initially saw it traffic surpass MySpace in certain countries overseas, i looks as though MySpace is hoping to become dominate yet again in the global market with a heavy mobile push. and MySpace has been developing its mobile version for some years now, long before mobile devices readily supported integrated media sharing or social networking was well-received with users.