It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Zedge.net, the huge (13 million users, Alexa rank 492) mobile content sharing network. Owned by IDT, Zedge is primarily a place where users can upload content (ringtones, themes, wallpapers and videos) for sharing and transfer to their phones.
A big part of Zedge is content creation. The site has easy to use online tools for making and modifying ringtones, themes, wallpapers and screensavers and the busy Zedge support forums help new users get up to speed on the tools.
Zedge also has social networking features including friends, profile pages, private messaging and guestbooks. Even as a social network Zedge maintains its focus on sharing content and knowledge. Each user’s number of uploads and forum posts is predominately displayed on their profile page.
So whats new with Zedge? Since I last visited, Zedge has added “TxTs”, 30 to 260 character jokes, quotes, lyrics and “flirts” that users can post and share. Other changes I noticed is that you can now send an SMS download link for a ringtone or other content to your phone, plus there’s a “PRO” section where bands and graphic artists can offer their free content to fans and that Zedge has greatly expanded and updated their mobile web site.
SMS downloading is optional, if you’d rather not reveal your phone number to Zedge you can still download content using the mobile web site or to your PC for sideloading.
PRO artists can send a weekly SMS notification about new content to those (U.S. only) users who have signed up to receive them. There is also a PRO web widget that lets artists promote their Zedge presence on MySpace, Facebook or their own site or blog.
The new mobile site at m.zedge.net is a far cry from the bare bones wml-only Zedge Mobile I looked at two years ago. It incorporates almost all the features of the full Zedge site including searching for, browsing and downloading ringtones, themes and other content, reading and posting to the forums, viewing user’s profiles, posting to guestbooks and sending private messages. About the only things you can’t do on the mobile site are update your profile and upload content.
Zedge mobile is nicely designed and easy to use. Pages are relatively small, under 40 KB and by enabling “Data Savings Mode” on the Settings page you can eliminate most images and cut the maximum page size in half for older browsers or if you are paying for data by the KB.
The new Zedge mobile is a nice upgrade. It’s nice to see that Zedge didn’t do a “dumbed down”, feature limited mobile site but gave it rich functionality while achieving excellent usability in the mobile context.
Ratings: Content Usability
Ready.mobi Score: 5 “Good”
Mobile Link: m.zedge.net