With the majority of Twitter updates and interactions done on other applications besides the actual Twitter website, along with updates to other social media sites via text, mobile social networking is becoming more and more popular as more people get internet-ready phones that allow them to check their accounts on the go.
Mobile websites were the first attempt at adapting the internet for cell phones. Now they have become more and more regular and many websites can now detect if a user is accessing their website from a mobile device and can display the mobile version of their website instead of the ‘regular’ internet browser version.
Mobile websites usually are text-only versions of sites and contain easier navigation and sometimes less content. However, some websites give you the option to switch to the ‘regular’ version if desired.
Companies have recognized this trend and have attempted to adapt accordingly. Many social networking sites like LinkedIn and Yelp have created mobile applications for smart phones like the iPhone and the Palm Pre that make it easy for users to use their website without having to be at a computer.
The growing popularity of mobile communication has helped Twitter grow more than 300% percent in the last year due to the instantaneous nature of tweets. It’s not uncommon for Twitter uses to tweet messages like, “On my way to the airport. Excited to be back in New York” or “Standing in line for the new Twilight movie.” These types of updates are allowing people share snippets of their everyday activities, instantly and from their cell phone.
In addition, phone manufacturers have welcomed the trend of growing ‘mobile dependence’ and are making it as easy as possible to use your cell phone for almost every digital transaction. Besides the ability to open and even edit some documents and spreadsheets, many phones can load regular webpages and some phones come pre-loaded with mobile versions of YouTube.
Services Built for Mobile
Besides websites and major brands building mobile applications for users to access on the go, a few web services have popped up that were created solely for mobile social networking. Two of the most popular are Loopt and FourSquare. With the use of GPS, these services allow you to ‘check-in’ on where your friends are and what they’re doing, see the latest reviews of restaurants and other establishments near you, and interact with friends who may be nearby.
As the idea of instant and constant open communication becomes more accepted, it wouldn’t be surprising for mobile social networking services to grow in popularity. Connecting with friends and family no longer has to rely on a phone call or random encounter. Loopt and FourSquare allow you to find out where your friends are, invite them to where you are, and even learn who else is using these services in the business you are in.