Sophisticated Simplicity In Mobile Interaction g“ ee ch tin om o ic t n -d hl ec fe nt ier „t h yWhite PaperSocial Media and SMS
Sophisticated Simplicity In Mobile InteractionWhite PaperSocial Media and SMSSocial Media is one of the most important consumer communications channels on the web today. Aswell as dedicated sites such as Facebook and Twitter, aspects of social media interaction are being builtinto a whole range of different web sites and services, from retailers through to video hosting sites.Mobile social networkingOne of the key trends in social media has been the rise of mobile functionality, with web-based socialnetworking providers offering a range of mobile services. The demand for this mobility is clearlyevidenced in consumer behaviour, with Facebook reporting that more than 200 million consumerscurrently access the site via mobile.Much of the focus of mobile social networking to date has been around the creation of mobile richmedia interfaces, essentially the recreation of online social networking functionality through mobileweb pages or smartphone apps. However, whilst these tools have enabled a proportion of consumersto access social networking on the go, they are failing to cater for a large percentage of potentialusers.The limitations of the mobile web: ubiquity and penetrationThe issue lies in the relatively small penetration of internet-enabled smartphones, which is still only around 30% evenin the relatively developed US market (NPD, 2010). This means that, even in the most advanced markets, more than twothirds of consumers still cannot access rich mobile social networking services on their primary handset.When you combine this with the relatively low reach of the 3G coverage that enables mobile internet access, it is clearthat rich mobile social networking services are effectively limited in the extent to which they can reach the broadestconsumer audiences.Mobile alternativesThe answer to this issue lies in a more established mobile technology – SMS. SMS is effectively ubiquitous: everyhandset is SMS enabled and the vast majority of users understand and know how to use it. Moreover, the GSM networkcoverage that supports SMS is near ubiquitous on a global basis.One of the most important benefits of SMS is its incredible flexibility. Despite being a relatively simple messagingformat, the huge range of SMS services on offer show that it can be applied in a massive variety of use cases. Thisholds true in social media as it does in other sectors, with SMS being capable of enabling a broad selection of socialnetworking functionality from any device, anywhere.
SMS Social networkingSMS can be used in a wide variety of use cases: Mobile updates The simplest SMS social networking functionality is the ability to update a social profile or service via SMS. Whether this is a micro-blog post, a status update or even a profile alteration, SMS can be used to facilitate updates to an online service whilst on the move. Social networking is based around short, timely messages and so the format and usability of SMS lend themselves to this form of interaction. Alerting One of the benefits of social networking is the ability to access updates from friends and contacts at anytime. SMS can be integrated into this process, with page updates being distributed to subscribers’ phones via the channel. These alerts might include updates from selected friends, important changes to friend’s profiles or invites from other users to join a social group. Content and applications The sharing of content and applications is a core part of social networking for many users and SMS can be used as part of the distribution chain for these formats. WAP-Push SMS enables the cost effective and simple distribution of content via an SMS, making it easy for users to access and install rich media onto their phones. Security With social networks now holding significant volumes of personal information about their users, privacy and security are paramount. SMS can be used as part of a simple, two-factor authentication process to enhance the security of the login process. When a user signs into a social media service a one-time password (OTP) is sent to their registered mobile number to complete the login process. This ensures that fraudulent users cannot login to a service even when they have obtained the user’s password. Premium services Monetising social media has been a challenge for many services, with even the largest players still searching for an effective business model. SMS can be used by any social networking provider as a premium offering for their free subscribers. For example, users could be asked to pay for regular SMS updates or the ability to post to their social network via SMS. Virtual gifting Virtual gifts are a popular service on many social networks, with users sharing pieces of digital content as presents for their friends. These virtual gifts can be given a mobile aspect through distribution via WAP-push SMS messages.
The mobile mixMobile is going to be a major part of the future of social networking; the question is how thismobility will be constituted. Undoubtedly, rich mobile access will have a role to play in offeringfunctionality to the small but growing market of smartphone users. However, any provider ofsocial networking services who is interested in accessing the vast majority of users who do nothave mobile web access will need to incorporate technologies such as SMS into their mobilemix.This argument is even more compelling when one looks at the geographical spread ofsocial networking and mobile. Whilst the majority of social networks to date are focused ondeveloped markets, future growth will come from less developed regions where smartphonepenetration and 3G coverage are even lower. For these markets SMS is without question goingto be a key part of mobile growth strategies for social media services.About tyntectyntec is a mobile interaction specialist, enabling businesses to integrate mobile telecom services for a wide range ofuses – from enterprise mission-critical applications to internet services. The company reduces the complexity involvedin accessing the closed and complex telecoms world by providing a high quality, easy-to-integrate and global offeringusing universal services such as SMS, voice and numbers. Founded in 2002, and with more than 150 staff in five officesaround the globe, tyntec works with 500+ businesses including mobile service providers, enterprises and internetcompanies.Munich +49 (89) 202 451 100 – London +44 (207) 436 0283 – Singapore +65 (6478) 3020E-Mails firstname.lastname@example.org www.tyntec.comSophisticated SimplicityIn Mobile Interaction