Checking email and updating social networking sites are fast becoming the most popular activities for mobile Internet users, according to UK consultancy Webcredible. In an online poll of more than 1100 online users between February and April this year, it found that 52% of users are now actively using the mobile Internet. Of those, 16% were visiting social networking sites - two years ago, when Webcredible conducted a similar poll, these sites didn’t even feature.
The growth in mobile Internet, coupled with the popularity of social networking, has caught the interest of the big two telcos in New Zealand. Both Vodafone and Telecom have already announced deals with Bebo and now it seems that Twitter is the latest social networking site to grab their attention.
Vodafone announced it had signed a deal that will soon allow customers to send and receive text updates to the Twitter Web site via their mobile phone.
The text message updates sent from Twitter will be free of charge, but regular charges will apply to customers sending tweets via text.
“Twitter lends itself neatly to our SMS service, but more importantly this is a great way for our customers to use their mobiles to stay connected with their online community,” says Charlie Clementson, Vodafone NZ head of media and entertainment.
Meanwhile, Telecom announced on Twitter itself that it will be offering a service specifically for Telecom users who sign up to the XT Network.
Head of mobile, Paul Hamburger, says delivering content over the mobile network is a key part of the strategy to attract customers.
“It’s fair to say we will have and do have partnerships with all the major social networking sites,so whatever demographic you’re in, we’ve got a proposition for you,” he says.
Among the offerings will be a widget on the mobile screen that directs users straight to Facebook.