I published my first report on mobile social networks 2 years ago (see here) at a time when Facebook audience was "only" around 50 million unique monthly visitors. At that time MySpace was a paid-for and exclusive experience on Vodafone-Live and Bebo was about to launching a mobile version. Needless to say lots has happened in the last 2 years.
Numerous acquisitions and parternships took place between the likes of Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter, Hyves and with handset manufacturers / mobile operators. Several mobile-only communities (AirG, peperonity, itsmy.com, buzzcity...) have gained traction and there is plenty of innovation in that space. INQ generated lots of media coverage and interest by lauching its so-called "Facebook phone" and plans to launch new devices. I am not sure what the latest Facebook mobile stats are but not that long ago rougly 10% of the worldwide installed base of FB users had registered to the mobile version. Even more significantly, the GSMA announced a few months ago that UK mobile consumers who access Facebook via their mobile phone spend, on average, 24 minutes on the site daily, just shy of the 27.5 minutes that PC-based Internet users spend daily on Facebook; mobile users of Facebook average 3.3 visits per day versus 2.3 visits per day from PC users.
A couple of weeks ago, we asked you to vote for what you'd like us to write on for our next travel eBusiness research report. The winning topic was "Why travelers write ratings and reviews." I'm working on that now -- which leads me to today's post.
Marketers looking to tap into the long tail via organic search - rather than via a paid search campaign - ought to take a look at Associated Content. Remember About.com, the network of "guides," or semi-pro content experts, now owned by the New York Times Co.? Associated Content is built along the same lines. It's a loose collection of articles written by freelancers that can provide inexpensive, contextually relevant ad inventory alongside content with some of the authenticity of UGC but none of the risky elements of unsupervised conversation.
Periodically, Forrester runs a progam called Client Choice where we ask clients to vote on topics we should write about in upcoming research reports. We are currently running a client choice ballot and would appeciate you taking part in the voting.
This particilar Client Choice topic list is centered around Financial Service topics including topic areas like direct banking, data security, next generation selling/servicing, and eBusiness channel strategy development.
[Posted by Neil Strother]
Marketers take note: mobile audiences continue to build. Two major Web destinations offered some new evidence this week:
Weather.com attracts 12.5 million monthly unique visitors to its mobile site
People.com's site generates 18 million mobile page views a month
Moreover, Weather.com's 'repeat rate' among mobile visitors is nearly 100 percent, says Cameron Clayton, VP of mobile for The Weather Channel Interactive.
Other popular mobile destinations - Yahoo! (34 million monthly uniques) and ESPN (6.7 million), for instance - boast significant audiences as well. Expect these mobile audiences to grow as more people access sites from devices like the iPhone, BlackBerrys, and Android handsets, which deliver a more satisfying mobile Web experience than standard mobile phones. If you're looking to target the growing mobile Web audience, Forrester can help you frame a sensible strategy. See "Best Practices: Mobile Marketing" as a place to start (if you're a Forrester client, it's available in full).
Have you placed ads on mobile Web sites? What was your experience? Post a comment below.