21 October 2008

Social Media Phones Fueled by Open Source?

Earlier this month, I read about a study reporting that 93 percent of online Americans believe companies should have a presence among social media tools, with 85 percent of respondents saying companies should interact with consumers through social media.

As businesses figure out how to leverage social media tools online, it's probably not too early to start thinking about reaching customers on their mobile devices, too.

Though I hardly access Twitter or Facebook from my Blackberry at the moment, Silicon.com reported today that smartphones may outsell mobile phones in five years thanks to social media integration. According to John Ellis, director of carrier market development in Motorola's software ecosystem team, "Texting and voice of today are slowly evaporating and slowly diminishing in our rear view mirror as we move into social media, rich user experiences."

BusinessWeek ran the story as well, which points to open source as a key driver for the development of mobile social media. The Google Android phone will no doubt raise the bar. Funambol, provider of open source push email and mobile sync, is also seeing a surge of interest in open source mobile development. The company announced today that 1500 new developers have joined the company's registered open source developer community in the last month alone. Funambol is now sponsoring mobile developers who can integrate its portal with Google Docs and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace - the company's open source software runs on 1.5 billion mobile devices, including smartphones.

Even more futuristic for mobile enthusiasts is the Samsung concept wrist watch phone pictured above that will evaluate your vitals, such as blood pressure and heart rate.

As the mobile opportunity seizes opportunities to delve into new fields, we are sure to see more advertising, marketing and customer service on mobile phones – will social media become the key conduit?

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