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MOBILE SOCIAL NETWORKING

Mobile social networking is very popular today.  According to surveys conducted in 2012, 30% of smart phone users accessed various social networks using their cell phones.

DEC 12, 2012

ARTICLES | BY ULA NERAK

Mobile social networking is popular. According to surveys conducted in 2010, 30% of smart phone users accessed various social networks using their cell phones. The percentage has probably grown over the last year.

 

The type of access people have depends to a certain degree on  their phones, but a lot has to do with their service provider. That is to say, if your service provider does not offer internet access, it does not matter what kind of smart phone you have.  


Assuming, you have internet access, checking your Facebook status on your cell should be relatively easy. You have the option of downloading specific phone apps to use for the purpose or using what your cellular service provider installs at the time of your purchase.


Rumors circulating over the last years concerned new Facebook phones. These are due to be released in the coming months. The word on the street is that the phones are androids optimized for Facebook. The advantages are to be easier picture uploading and a screen that is closer to what you see when you use your PC.


Another type of mobile social networking is available only to cell-users. Foursquare is an example. In order to play the game in this case, it is necessary to download specific foursquare phone apps. Let me tell you a little bit about the game.


Foursquare makes use of the same technology found in vehicle navigation systems. After downloading the relevant app, users press a button to “check in” to a location. As the game continues, it is possible to become king of a place that one visits often.  


The downside you have to remember is that your location will be broadcast on the network.  People playing the game were also broadcasting the information on Facebook and their other networks.  While these are meant to be friendly places, they can also be security risks.  You might not want everyone to know where you are or where you are not.


For the most part, downloading phone apps and participating in mobile social networking is safe.  You can join a network without a PC, but you are required to have an email address. You can use a free email site like Google or Hotmail to create an address, if you don’t already have one. Most networks do not require a paid email address to sign up.


While you might think that signing up is different for people using phone apps, it is only the GUI (graphical user interface) that is different.  They are still accessing the internet. They are just using their phones to do it.


Some sites (Twitter for example) are uniquely suited for mobile social networking. Tweets are short bursts of info put out many times throughout the day. While you can join and use Twitter with your PC, most people Twitter on their phones.


It can actually be a lot of fun!


Image: William Iven  @ Unsplash.com

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