Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in social networking, according to Nielsen.
Nielsen Online found that British mobile Web users have the greatest propensity to visit a social network through their handset, with 23 percent—2 million people—doing so, compared to 19 percent—10.6 million people—in the United States. These numbers are a big increase over last year—up 249 percent in Britain and 156 percent in the U.S.
“Mobile plays a key role in helping social networks monetize their spaces, something they’ve come a long way on but still have considerable room for growth,” said Nic Covey, Chicago-based director of insights for Nielsen. “Our research shows that mobile social networkers rely on their mobile access primarily to exchange messages and communicate via their network.
“Since social networks may have a difficult time monetizing the messaging aspects of their medium, this tendency suggests an opportunity for mobile to play a key role in the functional, if less monetizable, aspects of social networking while the extending the use of PC access to more monetizable aspects of the platform, such as content,” he said.
“That said, there should still be keen opportunities for targeted mobile advertising through social networking, just to a far lesser extent.”
Social networks and member communities now account for one out of every 10 minutes spent online, according to Nielsen.
“This underscores the importance of getting the social networking advertising model right,” Mr. Covey said. “Though naysayers believe consumer reluctance is too grave—fueled by purported privacy concerns or simple hesitancy to allow brands into a seemingly private space—I think the data paint a far more optimistic picture.
“In some ways, for all of the time we’ve spent teaching brands to look at social networks as sacred ground to be tread delicately upon, I wonder whether we should instead view social networks in the online and mobile role they play today: as a first point of entry gateway to the broader online experience,” he said. Read the entire story- mobile marketer.
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