Mobile social sharing web services where user can share their writing, photos and videos, chat with friemds, play network games and where visitors can contribute comments, chat and perhaps paticipate in polls.
Facebook, the most visited site on the Internet, believes strongly in the mobile Web. Facebook.com uses progresive enhancement to provide an optimal experince on everything from the WAP browsers of basic feature phones to the most advanced HTML5 compliant smartphone browser to the desktop.
Facebook's mobile traffic is growing expontentially. In 2011, 350 million of Facebook's 800 million registered users accessed the site using mobile devices. Saying that Facebook is becoming a mobile company, Erick Tseng, Facebook's director for mobile products projects that within a year or two the majority of Facebook visitors will access the device through mobile devices.
Advanced mobile version of Facebook served to the Android, bada and iPhone browsers by default. It works in Firefox Mobile and Opera Mobile if you enter the touch.facebook.com URL and in the WebOS 1.5 browser, except for the check-in feature (the WebOS browser has no geoLocation support).
Micro-blogging service, Twitter is one of the big successes of Web 2.0 in terms of mind share and number of users, if not profits. The simple open social network, where content is limited to 140 character status messages, now has over 300 million users.
The 140 character limit comes from Twitter's origins as an SMS relay service. In most of the world. Twitter no longer supports receiving friend's updates (tweets) as text messages and the vast majority of Twitter users (Tweeps) use mobile or desktop webapps to update Twitter and follow their friend's updates. In 2010, 46% of Twitter users accessed the service from mobile devices.
Twitter and the mobile web seem to be made for each. Tweeps tend to update frequently, stream of conscious style, whenever they have a thought to share. The sparse format combined with a good mobile web client means that even the most basic web enabled phones make competent Twitter terminals.
There are a lot of mobile web based Twitter clients, which one is best for you?
Pinterest is a social media startup that is especially popular with women. According to Comscore (by way of TechCrunch) it went from zero to 10 million monthly unique visitors in 20 months, faster than any site ever.
Pinterest lets users share photos and videos (called "pins") they have created or found on the Web and organize them into themed "pinboards".
Pinterest's mobile webapp is full featured. It mirrors the desktop site's work flows and appears to retain all the features and functionality of its big brother but with a (mostly) single column layout.
While I like the Pinterest mobile webapp's overall design, usability and full feature set, I did have some problems using it.
- Many of the pages are slow to load, especially the initial pin feed screen. I think this is due mainly to page size. The pin feed page contains 50 large images and weighs in at a whopping 7 MB compressed.
- Pinterest seems to work best in the Android browser. It loads in most other mobile browsers but aesthetic and functional gitches are common.
Pinterest's mobile webapp is as powerful as the desktop version and has some nice design and usability touches. But the slow page loads and numerous the bugs make it ultimately frustrating to use.
Foursquare is the reincarnation, by the original founders, of Dodgeball the "tell us where you are and we'll tell your friends where to find you" social network that was acquired by Google and then killed.
You can "check-in" with an iPhone app, your phone's mobile browser or by sending a text message.
A check-in based social media service where users check into entertainment media like TV shows, movies, books, music, magazines, Web pages, foods, beverages, video games etc. and win stickers. And these aren't just virtual stickers either. When you accumulate seven stickers, GetGlue will mail them to you as actual physical stickers to plaster on your laptop, refrigerator or whatever.
GetGlue users can check-in using Android, iOS or BlackBerry apps or with GetGlue's Website or mobile Webapp. They can rate the media they check into, share check-ins on Facebook and Twitter and get discounts and special offers from GetGlue's media partners which include HBO, AMC, Disney, MTV, the Food Chanel, Sony Entertainment, Simon and Schuster, Universal Pictures and many more.
GetGlue makes the bold claim that its mobile Webapp lets you "easily check-in from any phone" so I put it to the acid test and tried it with the Synbian^3, browser, Opera Mini 6.1 and the Myriad V7 WAP browser on a low end feature phone. GetGlue looked great and worked well with the Symbian browser. The screenshots show the process of checking-in to a song or album; you chose a category (music), search for media (an artist) and check-in. You can add a comment when checking-in as well as rate, "like" or "dislike" the the artist and/or write a review.
With the other two browsers, results were not good. When I tried to check-in with Opera Mini, I was redirected to the GetGlue start page and the check-in was not recorded. With the Myriad browser, GetGlue didn't offer any suggestions and its search failed with every query I tried leaving me with no way to find anything to check-into. I think GetGlue needs to rephrase their claim as "easily check-in from any phone that has a WebKit based browser."
Hi5 is an "open" social network; profiles are public by default and anyone, including non-members, can search for users and view their profiles. The features of Hi5 seem to be a mishmash of those of the market leading networks. The default open access and highly customizable profiles remind me of Myspace; Hi5's school groups and the "degrees of separation" friend model are similar to FaceBook. Most of the standard trappings of current online social networks are present; groups, messaging, photo albums, a music player, applications and scrapbooks. Notably absent is any sort of integrated video player.
Hi5 was late to the mobile space with m.hi5.com arriving in August of this year. The mobile feature set is a useful subset of the Hi5 feature set. You can view profiles, view friend's statuses and change your own, comment on your friends' profiles and photos, see if friends are online and send and receive messages. Missing on mobile are photo uploading, editing your profile, changing privacy settings, applications, groups and viewing or writing in scrapbooks.
The mobile site uses small page and image sizes and a simple straightforward design that should work on almost all phones. Due to the site's simplicity, navigation is easy and intuitive. The lack of access key accelerators makes click paths longer than necessary, however.Reflecting Hi5's global user base, the mobile site is available in the same 37 languages as the main site. Unlike MySpace and Facebook, it's possible for new users to register using Hi5's mobile site. The ability to sign up without a PC is particularly important in the developing world where many users' only Internet access is through their phones.
Mocospace seems to be targeting young singles looking to meet new people and has a little more of a dating site feel to then most of the other MoSoSo sites. Many MocoSpace users seem to be using it more as a photo sharing and general chat site.
A Mocospace site consists of a main page with an optional photo, some information about your from your profile (name, age, gender, hometown and an "About Me" text that you can create ) and links to a fixed set of pages:
- Options - This ambiguously named page leads to your personal chat room where people can communicate with you in real time - which seems like a good alternative to SMS at least if you have unlimited browsing but pay for SMS. You can limit your Chat room to Friends Only or leave it open to everyone which is the default. Also on the options page is your MocoSpace Relationship Status the most overly dating-site feature of MocoSpace. This seems to be unrelated to the Relationship field in your profile and refers to whether you are engaged in a relationship to another MocoSpace member. There are even links where another member can propose to you with the following choices: go steady, engagement or marriage. Finally there is a history button where you can see the users Mocospace relationship history.
- Friends Comments - View comments left on your page by others
- Photos - You can upload your photos directly of the PC version of Mocospace and by email or SMS. Photos must be approved presumably to enforce the site's rules against profanity, violence, nudity and offensive or copyrighted material. Approval, on a Sunday at that, took only a couple of hours. Photos can be .png, jpg or gifs as long as they are under 300KB. They are resized to thumbnails of 90px on the longest dimension with original aspect ratio and quality maintained pretty well. On the mobile site only the resized images are viewable but on the PC site you can click the thumbnail to view the original.
- Videos - must be in .3gp format and under 300KB which is pretty small allowing only about 10 seconds of CIF (176x144) video
- Blog - Blogging features are limited. The only formatting seems to be that that newlines are preserved but otherwise it's strictly plain text. No bold, lists, etc. Users can leave comments.
- Reviews - Can be of anything. Movie and Music reviews predominate. Similar to blog posts but they have a category and star rating fields and can include a photo.
- Friends - This is just a list of people who have left comments on your page.
- Favorites - You can tag other people's photos and videos as favorites and they appear on this page.
You can customize your MocoSpace homepage somewhat. You can change the the background and text colors and upload a background image. These changes only apply to your home page not to any of your other pages like photos, reviews or blogs.
MocoSpace also has a number of features at the top level independent of any individual users site:
- Browse Users - See a list of all users online and search for members by name, age, gender, sexual preference, relationship status or proximity to a zipcode.
- Photos, Videos, Blogs, Reviews - Browse and search any of these.
- Chat - 13 Chatrooms on various topics like Party, Tivia, Canada, UK and Romance.
- Forums - subforums on Mobile Phones, Music, Movies & TV, Sports, etc.
- Love - This is where you can track Mocospace relationships with three lists; newest relationships, longest relationships and recent breakups. Wow, talk about living your life in public.
- Top Rated - users can rate other's MocoSpace pages - this is where you can find which sites get the most votes and highest ratings.
- Invite friends - send an invite by email or SMS.
MocoSpace seems to be gaining users pretty quickly, the forums and chat rooms are very active. Overall, I think it's a pretty good new effort at a MoSoSo site but lacks any unique feature to really set it apart from the competition. Everything works and the site is fast and attractively designed with good mobile usability. Mocospace is supported both small banner ads and text ads which are generally unobtrusive except that the site occasionally forces you to click on an ad to continue using the site (bottom image)! You can remove the ads with a premium membership at $2/month.Although it's a mobile site, MocoSpace it doesn't really leverage the mobile phone's unique ability to find friends, contacts, events, clubs, etc near my location now. Of course, location information is not available to off-portal sites in the US. But it will be someday and already there is Dodgeball, which it doesn't even have a mobile web site, but has built a location aware social network entirely on SMS. You send a text message telling Dodgeball where you are and the site texts your location to any of your friends who are nearby. Dodgeball is showing the feasability of location based MoSoSo (MoLoSoSo?) and building a base of users who understand the concept. When the carriers make location information available on the mobile web Dodgeball could already own the market. MocoSpace and similar sites will need to cover the location-based aspect of mobile social software to remain competivive.
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,
Registered users can create a mobile home page with profile, blogs and guestbook and can participate in chat, flirting, forums and private messaging. Users also have access to itsmy's online ringtone and wallpaper generators and can upload music, themes videos and images.
The site works more or less like other social networks. You set up your home page and profile and search for and invite others to be friends. User search is by name, age, gender or location. If someone is making you uncomfortable you can block them from interacting with you.
Unique to itsmy is "Its My TV". Using templates, content including text, audio, video and images can be combined into "channels" . There are over 100,000 channels on itsmy with about 100 new shows being produced per day. The videos I saw were all 176x144 and ranged from about 400 KB to 5GB in size depending on quality and length.
Homepage URLs are subdomains (user.itsmy.mobi), which I find easier to type on phones than the sub directories (site.com/user) used by some mobile social networks. Uploading is by MMS from your registered mobile number. Some user generated content like wallpapers is always public but almost everything else including profiles, photos and videos can be set to be viewable only by friends.
Itsmy has 2.5 million total and over a million registered users who have produced 5 million pages of user generated content. The site is averaging 300 million mobile page views per month and operates it's own advertising network. Recent marquee ad clients have included Ford and Reebok but small advertisers are catered to as well.Itsmy is available in English, German, Italian, Spanish and Japanese. Users are concentrated in the US (over 50% of the total users) followed by South Africa and India.
One of the largest mobile social networks in the world, Mig33 is strongest in Southeast Asia. The majority of Mig33's members use the service's mobile app which is available for Java ME, BlackBerry and Windows mobile. The app is a multi-network (AIM Yahoo, MSN, Google Talk and Facebook) IM client and an interface into Mig33's other features which include profiles, photo sharing, friending, chat rooms, micro-blogging, multi-player games, virtual gifting, forums and low cost international SMS and voice calling. In addition to the app, Mig33 has a mobile web site that offers all of Migg33's features except IM.
Never Eat Alone
"Never Eat Alone", That's the motto of Dmitry Namiot's latest HTML5 mobile web app. Vist http://nea.linkstore.ru with any browser that supports geolocation (iPhone, Android, Opera 10.1) and the app displays a list of nearby cafes and restaurants. Tap one of the listings or enter the name on an unlisted one and you can instantly share a link to a map showing where you are as well as how long you will be there on Twitter, Facebook or in an Email.
The site transfers files you have already converted to mobile format, it don't seem to have any online conversion or editing capabilities like, for example, mobile17.com. What FunForMobile does have is concise and clear instructions that explain how to use free desktop applications to convert mp3's or tracks on a CD to a ringtone format that your phone can handle. Another tutorial details the process of converting videos to .3gp again using a free downloadable converter. There is even a phone capabilities database that tells you the formats that your phone accepts and an active user forum where you can ask for and actually get help.
Another thing that sets FunForMobile apart from other similar sites like Zedge and Mobile9 is that it has a significant mobile web presence. When you register you get a PC blog which has a mobile edition. The blogs display your profile, posts and a gallery of your uploaded files. The PC version can be customized with images and colors can be changed using css. The blogs accept comments but do not have rss feeds! Other social features include a friends list and the ability to send private messages and share content with other users. Uploaded files are public by default, although you can flag them as private. Sharing is a step beyond public where you send a link to one of your files to another FunForMobile user.
It's not even necessary to register in order to download, the PC site is searchable and you can download files to your PC for side-loading or get a number which you can use to download a file from the mobile site.
Their are actually multiple mobile sites.
- wap.funformobile.com - this is a download form, where you enter a file number to download a file. The file numbers are assigned when you upload a file and can also be found using the PC site's search function.
- www.funformobile.com/wap/whome.php - www.funformobile.com redirects mobile browsers here. It's a public "gallery" displaying content in categories like "Popular Pictures" or "Recent Videos" all of which can be downloaded. There is no search, you have to search on the web site to get the download number and enter it on the download site mentioned above. There's not even a link from the gallery page to the download page!
- YourUserName.funformobile.com - A direct public link to your mobile blog, all your public content uploads are displayed here. There is another url that enables downloading content that you have marked as private.
I ran into some errors using the mobile pages. Some of the pages are just too large to load on most phones, for example the "Popular Pictures" page which has just three (NSFW) animated gifs on it which add up to 545 KB!. With many browsers unable to handle pages over 20 KB this is just not going to work. I also got intermittent compile errors loading various pages on FunForMobile's sites. I traced these to some bad markup in the third party ads displayed on the site. The ad text occasionally contained "naked" ampersands like "Fun & Games For Your Phone" Xhtml requires ampersands to be displayed using the html entity &. The ads change every time you load the page and only a few of them had this problem so refreshing the page usually made the error disappear.This review may sound negative but I actually think FunForMobile is one of the better mobile social sharing sites and that the issues I mention are minor and have workarounds. The mobile side, particularly the mobile blogs is relatively full-featured in contrast to Zedge and Mobile9 which are strictly PC Web social communities with the mobile site being just a way to download files with no mobile social interaction at all. FunForMobiles's mobile blogs seem to be well used and relatively full-featured.
Taltopia is a social network for the artistic community. It's a place where actors, musicians, artists, photographers, models and comedians can connect with their fans and with industry pros like casting directors, model agencies, record labels and talent managers.
Artist members can upload photos, videos and audio tracks of their work. Presentations are rated by the community using a "Fame" and "Shame" voting system with the highest rated presentations appearing on the site's home page.
Industry professionals post casting calls and job opportunities which artists can apply for by submitting their talopia portfolio.
Sponsored talent contests offer prizes of either "Famebucks", Talopia's virtual currency, or career opportunities.
Famebucks can also be purchased using PayPal and can be gifted to other members. They are used to buy exposure on the site's "Wall of Fame".
Taltopia's mobile site displays the top media (photos only) based on votes and lets members edit their profiles, check messages, vote on media, network with other artists, and apply to casting calls while on the go.
The mobile web version of MySpace lets send and read messages and comments, update your mood and status, browse photo albums and profiles, view videos that you have added to your profile, find and add friends and read and post to blogs.
I'm a little disappointed that it doesn't really exploit MySpace's collection of over 20,000 music videos on band pages. There is no way to search or browse videos with MySpace mobile and you can't even see the videos on friends profiles. To watch MySpace videos on the mobile site you have to first use the full web version of MySpace to add each video you want to watch to your profile. That's really cumbersome. I don't understand why MySpace hasn't done more with video on mobile. I'm sure MySpace would like to search, browse and share videos and view the ones on other users profiles using the mobile interface like they can on the full web one.
MySpace uses an email address as your login ID. Like Facebook, MySpace's whole architecture seems to based around the email as ID, it would be almost impossible for them to change at this point. But as I've said before, email addresses make lousy mobile ID's . For the mobile edition, MySpace could follow Blogline's lead and allow users choose an easy to type alias as an alternate login.
If you aren't familiar with FriendFeed (FF), it's a service that lets you roll up the various aspects of your online persona into a single web page and feed. You point FF at your blog and your accounts on Twitter, Jaiku, Flicker, Facebook, YouTube, etc. FF can bring in content from 59 services in all. It aggregates all your posts and updates from the various services and makes them available on a web page (mine is friendfeed.com/yeswap) and as a RSS feed, Facebook application, iGoogle Widget, email feed and an iPhone web app.
FFtoGo is a faithful reproduction of the FriendFeed web experience but reformatted for mobile usability with smaller page size and numeric access keys that let you jump to menu items with a single key press. It's highly configurable using a Settings menu. You can control the number of items per page, whether to display images and if external links should be mobilized using the Google transcoder. It's a good thing the items per page option is available. The default of 30 items results in a page size of 44 KB, too large for many feature phones. The low Ready.mobi score is due almost entirely to the page size issue. I'd like to see FFtoGo default to 10 items or less to make it compatible with more handsets.
Another FriendFeed mobile option is the official FriendFeed iPhone web app at friendfeed.com/iphone. Unlike many iPhone sites, FriendFeed's works in other "full web" mobile browsers as long as they can handle its 250 KB page size. The iPhone site quite usable in S60WebKit, although a bit of horizontal scrolling is required, but really shines in Opera Mini's "Fit-to-width" Mobile View. I actually prefer the iPhone app over FFtoGo in both WebKit and Opera Mini (bottom image) because you can log into it with your FriendFeed password. Because FFtoGo is a third party application, it requires the use of your unwieldy and very mobile unfriendly 12 character, alphanumeric FriendFeed "Remote Key".
With FFtoGo creator Benjamin Golub now at FriendFeed, I'm hoping we will see the release of a lighter weight official mobile version that works with all mobile browsers and does away with the need for the mobile key.
Vancouver based AirG, which up to now has only been available on-portal under names like CoolChat and Hookt is now open to everyone. Chat, play wap games and share photos and videos with over 20 million users of AirG. Source Oh! Mobile Directory
A social network focused on creativity, music, the arts and social action. Members can upload images, videos and music to create channels. Featured channels as well as content professionally created by and for DipDive appear on the homepage. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory.
Orkut follows the open (or MySpace) model of social networking, profiles are public and searchable and membership is open to anyone with an email address. There's been a pent up demand from users for a way to use Orkut from their phones. Currently the full PC version works very well in Opera Mini and other full-web mobile browsers but there have been issues off and on over the last couple of years with Orkut upgrades breaking the site in Opera Mini.
The mobile version of Orkut should work on any modern phone with xhtml support. It has a useful subset of Orkut features including Profiles, Friends List, Profile Search, Friend Updates, Birthday reminders, the ability to accept and deny friend requests and Scrapbooks which is where personal messages appear in Orkut. There are a lot of missing features too. You can't create or edit a profile, there are no videos, testimonials and Orkut's extremely popular "Communities" (forums) aren't there either.More...
Mobion is a free mobile social network with chat, online games, photo sharing, blogs. Meet friends and personalize your Mobion with custom avatars and skins.
The mobile site has a clean, simple design that is easy and fairly intuitive to navigate. Unfortunately, like the mobile versions of most social networks that started out on the non-mobile web, it's a rather limited subset of the features available in the full version.
The mobile site lets you the following:
- Change your status.
- View your friends list and visits friends' profiles to view their blogs, photos and their YouTube hosted videos. Videos hosted on Bebo itself are not viewable from the mobile site.
- View, but not compose or reply to, your Bebo Mail (messages from Bebo users).
- Partially edit your profile. The only fields that can be changed from the mobile site are your Name (handle), tag line and sex!
- Visit your groups.
- Search public profiles, bands and groups.
What you can't do on Bebo Mobile:
- Submit friend requests, join new groups or become a band fan.
- Message with AIM, WIM or Skype.
- Use Bebo or OpenSocial Apps.
- Listen to any of the music on band sites or user's profiles.
- Upload images or videos unless you are an Orange UK or O2 Ireland subscriber.
I hope Bebo Mobile will be updated to add some of the missing features. All of them except the apps seem doable for mobile. I do have some doubts that struggling AOL will commit the resources to really make Bebo Mobile what it could be. Fortunately, Bebo allows mobile users access to the full version of the site. When you first connect to Bebo.com with a mobile device (including iPhones!) you land on the mobile site. But right at the top of the page there's a link to that "desktop version". Of course, you do need a capable full web browser like S60WebKit, Opera, Netfront or Safari to even load the full version of the site, but I applaud Bebo for at least giving users this choice.More...
Crowdsourced location sharing service that uses Foursquare as a POI database. Locates you using the HTML5 Geolocation API in your iOS, Opera Mobile 10.1 or Android browser and presents a list of nearby locations where Fourquare users have historically checked in. Click a location to see a menu allowing you to share your location (name of the place and a short link to a Google Map)by email, SMS or as a Facebook or Twitter status
A new "emotion based" mobile social network that claims to perform a contextual analysis to monitor the user's emotions and react to them.
Users can exchange pictures, audio, video, text, apps, games, etc., write blogs, and read celebrity and cinema news.
Registration is required but it's instant and does not require entering your email or phone number only an ID, password and birth date.
RockeTalk is a forum based social network where you can meet new people, message and chat. It supports photo and video sharing by direct file upload. Chatting in the mobile web version of RockeTalk is limited to text but there are RockeTalk Symbian and Java apps that support voice, audio, video chatting.
Plurk is a social network and micro-blogging service based around 140 character updates. (Twitter clone?) You have to register on Plurk's desktop site in order to use the mobile one, excluding the 30% of users who access the Web exclusively using a phone. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory.
FriendBinder is a new service that which went public with its Beta earlier this month. It seems to be generating quite a bit of buzz. FriendBinder aggregates updates from your Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Last.fm and Delicious.com friends into a single stream allowing you to keep track of all your social networks in one place. You can view all your friends or filter the feed to show only updates the ones you are most interested in or only updates from a particular network
You can Tweet, ReTweet and Reply on Twitter and update your Facebook status from within FriendBinder.
Mobile access is provided and is fairly full-featured. It shows your FriendBinder streams and includes the ability to post updates to Twitter and Facebook.
Administrative functions are somewhat limited in the mobile version. It's not possible to register for a FriendBinder account or add new networks using the mobile interface. You must go to the desktop site at friendbinder.com to register and perform most other account maintance functions. Source Oh! Mobile Directory
Showboxx "Show your talent & become a star!" is a free mobile superstar and talent community. Upload your videos and pictures. Users vote for the best with prizes for top vote getters.
Canned SMS messages for every occasion including famous qoutes, expressions of love and friendship, jokes, inspirational sayings and advice.
The site has buttons for sharing a message on Twitter and Facebook there's no button to send the message as a text. The site does provide the message in a textarea for easy copying but it would be nice to also have a "Text this:" link using the sms: URI scheme, though not all phones support sms: and some that do use smsto: instead unfortunately.
Malaysia based Mobby Me is a relatively new mobile social network where you can create a personal mobile profile and blog and exchange messages and winks with your friends. Available in English or Chinese, Mobby Me also features photo and video sharing, customizable avatars, multi-player games, apps and "hottness" ratings. The site is free with additional premium features available.
Hyves is the largest Dutch social network with over 7 million users. Available in Dutch and English, Hyves supports mobile with iPhone and Java apps and a mobile website. Features include chat, scraps, checking photos, reading messages, finding your friends on the map and sharing your location and uploading and sharing photos from your phone. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory.
Hyves is still around but no longer offers an English user interface
Mobile version of Tribe.net, a social networking site. The tribes of Tribe are essentially online forums and there are hundreds of them with the largest being one for Burning Man, the annual radical art event held in the Nevada desert. The mobile edition of Tribe is not complete. The individual Tribe pages are available in a mobile formatted version but member's profiles, the public home page and other parts of the site are not. Some links on the mobile parts of the site lead to full-web versions of parts of the site that have not been mobilized yet. Source: Oh! Mobile Directory.
Wamaja (wamaja.mobi) is a new mobile-only social network with blogs, photo sharing, chat and integrated instant messaging . Wamaja members can IM with each other and with users on Google Talk, Chikka, Gizmo Tiscali.it and Jabber.
I found the inter-network IM worked well. Using it is easy although initially unintuitive and not documented anywhere on the site. What you do is add the party you want to IM with as a new friend using the format <user>@gmail.com. They will get a Google Talk chat request and you can immediately begin chatting. For the other networks replace gmail.com with chikka.net, gizmo.com, tiscali.it or jabber.org. It's not necessary to have an account on the other system.
Wamaja supports picture messaging between members. Upload images to your gallery using browse for file and can include any of your pictures inside private and chat messages to Wamaja friends.
Although Wamaja is new, it seems to have quite a few users already, many apparently are using the iPhone version of the site at http://iphone.wamaja.mobi. Full profile search lets you quickly find and add friends. The site is available in Italian and English. Chat rooms and blogs are filtered by language, if you log into the English interface you will only see English language chat rooms and blogs.
Wamaja is from Italian based Icona. The company was founded in 1996 and has a background in developing custom communication and messaging systems for carriers and enterprises, so it's not surprising that IM is a core part of Wamaja.
It will be interesting to see how Wamaja does. People join social networks because their friends are on them, it's hard for new network like Wamaja to achieve a critical mass of users. For Wamaja the federated IM may serve as a hook with users joining to IM friends on other IM networks. There are other mobile social networks with federated IM, notably Bebo which inter-operates with AIM, WIM and Skype, but none that I know of that support the same mix of networks as Wamaja.
MobineSSia is an Indonesia based mobile social network focused on micro-blogging and photo sharing activities from handheld devices. Other features include chat, messaging and Twitter integration. Image uploading is by email or MSS. There are no space or bandwidth limits. MobineSSia has English and Indonesian user interfaces. Most posts are in Indonesian.
I covered Friendster's first mobile site back in December. I was never able to get it to work on the phone I was using at the time. Plus it required each user to install a widget on their Friendster profile using a PC browser before they could even use the mobile site. Well, it looks like Friendster went back to the drawing board and came up with a completely new mobile site at a new URL, m.friendster.com. The old friendstertogo.com url redirects to the new one.
The best thing about the new site is that it just works. No issues, nice small page size for quick loading on slow networks and low end phones. The feature set is comparable to other PC based social networks like MySpace or Facebook, which is to say pretty limited. Users can read their messages and message their friends, change their shoutout, search users by name or email, post to their bulletin board and view their own and friend's photos and profiles. What they can't do on the mobile site is edit their profiles, upload photos, explore public photos or profiles or vist the Friendster forums. In short, Friendster is a useful subset of the Friendster features that works well on low end phones.
Unfortunately Friendster redirects most mobile browsers to the mobile site, including Opera Mini and other "full web" mobile browsers. This happens to Opera Mini users even if they enter the address of the full version of Friendster, www.friendster.com. This has some annoyed users on the Opera Mini forums. It seems they have been accessing Friendster 's main site for years with Opera Mini and don't like being forced to use the limited mobile site. There's an important mobile usability lesson here. While it's good to automatically redirect mobile browsers from your site's canonical URL to a mobile friendly version, you also need to provide a way for users to get the full version of the site on their phones. At Wap Review, If you go to Wapreview.com/blog with a phone, you will be redirected to wapreview.mobi but at the bottom of that page there's a Full Site link that points to pc.wapreview.com which should always bring up the full site regarless of what device you are using.
Update: In June 2011, Friendster relaunched as a social gaming site.
MobiLuck, which started out as a Bluetooth based chat, dating, messaging and file sharing application now has a mobile web based social network. Like MocoSpace, Peperonity, Wadja, ItsMy, Multiply and several others it's a pure mobile play rather than a mobile front end to a web based social network. MobiLuck focuses on location and presence. The idea is to share your location with friends (and strangers if your feeling adventuresome) so you can meet up with them in the real world. When you log into MobiLuck you see a listing of friends and other users who are nearby. See someone you know or want to meet? MobiLuck lets you open a chat session, IM them with MSN or phone them. Optionally you can receive SMS alerts when a friend is within a certain distance (1km by default).
The mobile web based version of MobiLuck doesn't really detect your location . That's not really MobiLuck's fault, it's almost impossible for an off portal web service to obtain location data because of carrier policies. To share your location with MobiLuck you have to enter it manually.
11-Feb-2013: Site is down.