@ 3GSM: MySpace Mobile Wants More Mobile Deals

3: David Fischer, MySpaceMySpace will not stop at Cingular and Vodafone in its efforts to take social networking mobile, but will forge ahead with more mobile network tie-ups, the company said. The company last week unveiled an exclusive partnership with Vodafone starting in the UK that will make the popular portal pre-loaded on new handsets and on the Vodafone Live service. But MySpace Europe MD David Fischer told 3GSM attendees: “This is just the first of many future mobile operator deals. Just as we’ve grown to become the largest destination on the web in terms of traffic, our goal is to make MySpace Mobile the number-one mobile destination. We intend to work in a very open fashion, being business model- and platform-agnostic. It’s a really big revenue opportunity, we think, for our friends and for our partners.”
He added: “Based on the incredibly positive take-up from MySpace Mobile in the US, which has won a record-setting pace on Cingular, we feel we’re on to a winner.”
Why MySpace Mobile? “The answer to this is simple — consumer demand. Millions of users around the world have been telling us they want access to MySpace any place, any time. Increasingly, people are using MySpace as one of their primary means of communication with family and friends, so it’s a natural progression for us to extend this onto mobile devices. The usage from MySpace Mobile is obvious – meeting friends in a bar, messaging friends, downloading pictures from your dream holiday or posting a blog about a gig while you’re attending the gig.”
MySpace is already the US’ most popular mobile social networking pasttime thanks to carriage on Helio handsets and to the Cingular tie-up, where users pay an extra $2.99 per month plus data costs for access. Last week’s Vodafone announcement did not include many details, though further reports suggest the “MySpace Mobile” moniker used by Fischer refers to a white-label application, rather than a set of mobile-optimized pages, while Vodafone customers, too, must pay an additional subscription.
Fischer said users would be able to view their own profile as well as browse other profiles, send and receive MySpace e-mail, post to and read blogs, write and review comments about friends. They will get to add new friends, upload photos and, Fischer added, “in future, we’ll be introducing ability to upload videos as well.”
Personal IM: In a related vein, the Personal IM initiative launched by the GSM Association at last year’s 3GSM has yielded a cross-network partnership in Spain that will connect Telefonica’s SMS 2.0 service with Vodafone’s instant messaging protocol, adding buddy lists, presence information and group messaging to plain text SMS. Wall Street Journal says: [Last year’s] announcement left industry watchers expecting a slew of deals that would give mobile instant messaging the potential to take off just as text messaging did once interoperability pacts were in place in the mid-1990s. But instead of a quickly expanding web of agreements, the overall impression is that Europe has been slow to move for a market that could be worth