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MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001 PREVIEW Flickr (c) Hosting CouponsNew Research: Youth / Mobile / FacebookWill Facebook’s Network Effect catch the Mobile Industry out?Facebook will win the mobile battle with operators andhandset manufacturers by building a beachhead in the $400billion youth segment.
MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001Is Facebook’s Free Voice Calls the Beginning of the End?New analysis from The 2013 Mobile Youth Report shows that Facebookmay disrupt the business models of handset manufacturers and mobileoperators by implementing change through the backdoor.Mark Zuckerberg has gone on record saying that the Facebook of thefuture will be a “mobile business” but their manner of entry has been leftto speculation.This week, Facebook announced it will provide free mobile voice callsacross its messenger app on the iPhone signaling its intent to disruptthe mobile industry from the bottom up. Rather than revolutionizetelecoms through the high end executive road warriors, Facebook willwin the mobile battle with operators and handset manufacturers bybuilding a beachhead in the $400 billion youth segment.Will Facebook finish off the job Apple started and change the mobileindustry? In the 2013 Mobile Youth report, Facebook is singled out asone of the key 15 brands that will redefine the mobile industry. Here’swhy:Economic downturn, Apple’s slowing sales and the growth of both wifiand Facebook messenger provide a perfect storm for change. Theworld’s 2 billion mobile phone owners under 30 years old have becomea critical battleground for deciding Facebook’s mobile fortunes anddriving change.By developing a separate messenger app, Facebook is able to mainlineits youth market product development. The app not only provides freevoice calls but also a platform to evolve new applications and servethem direct to the market’s most influential mobile owners - those agedunder 30. 65% of youth buy their handsets based on what their peers(not what ad agencies) said. Applications are becoming increasinglycritical in defining the handset experience. The 2013 Mobile YouthReport found that handset purchase decisions are heavily influenced bythe availability (or lack of availability) of favored applications.
MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001Facebook’s plans to build on its mobile messenger application present asignificant challenge to the existing industry status quo. By developing apipeline to the youth market, Facebook can introduce social search andother applications, effectively bypassing existing arrangements andcharging models.One key piece of data from the 2013 Mobile Youth Report favorsFacebook’s mobile strategy: contrary to expectations, youth preferdiverged not converged applications. The Report found that in manycases the mobile phone operated as up to 7 social tools for teens. Thatmeans there is always room for one more application that fulfills existingsocial behaviors but understanding what “social behaviors” are couldn’tbe gleaned from social media studies but more in-depth analysis of theemotional and psychological drivers behind behavior.Unlike the mobile operators and handset manufacturers, Facebook hasa distinct advantage in measuring these youth social behaviors enablingit to co-create the right services based on feedback from the frontline.Change may well catch the mobile industry by surprise: some handsetmanufacturers and operators have built their experience aroundconverged or unified applications (e.g. SMS or BBM). The Reportadvises handset manufacturers and operators to get passionate aboutethnographic research if they want to defend the youth market and,therefore, their future customer base.
MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001About The 2013 Mobile Youth ReportIf you want to know about youth mobile culture in 2013 and beyond, TheMobile Youth Report written by mobileYouth.org is the complete works.We’ve been writing the Report since 2003 and bring over 10 yearsexperience of youth and mobile across 65 markets.To find out more about the Reporthttp://www.mobileyouth.org/report