While many think that web based social networking started with Friendster or Facebook, in fact there are several mobile based social networks that are much older including Peperonity, started in 2000 and TagTag and ItsMy which launched a year later. These sites initially just offered users a way to create a simple mobile web homepage using a menu driven site builder. Over time all three added features like chatrooms, messaging, content sharing, friend lists and guestbooks to became full fledged social networks.
German based Peperonity (peperonity.com), which is available in German, English, French, Italian Portuguese and Polish, claims 460,000 users and 3.5 million mobile pages and is Admob’s largest publisher. It lets you create a mobile blog with video and photo sharing, friends list, downloads and chat.
I was impressed with how easily a Peperonity site can be created. You build a site by adding pages from a catalog of pre-made templates including picture and multimedia galleries, chat rooms, a voting page, guestbook or downloads page. There is a certain amount of customization available, including changing the colors of various elements of each page and site wide. The default Peperonity color scheme of yellow, red and black is quite striking, if not particularly readable. Speaking of downloads, Peperonity users can sell downloadable content and collect payments using Bango.com.
Peperonity is one of the few pure mobile plays in social networking. New users can register on the mobile site, although both a phone number and an email address are required, which seems like overkill. A Peperonity site can be created and maintained using only a mobile phone. There is a PC web interface but all of its functionality is also available in the mobile version.
In addition to peperonity.com, the company also provides a white label mobile social platform to mobile operators including O2, T-Mobile, KPN and TIM.
Peperonity: (xhtml-mp or wml) Content: Usability:
Update: Peperonity shut down in July, 2018.