Editor's Corner: Mobile Social Networking

Mobile Social Networking
Streaming video and full-track audio downloads may be the next big thing, but SMS is still the killer data feature for most consumers (and studies show SMS continues to grow). This is especially true for mobile social networking sites.

Last week, Yahoo soft-launched Mixd, a new mobile social networking site that uses an SMS shortcode to send group messages or pictures. Mixd is clearly targeting younger users who are looking for an easy way to connect a group of friends.

Yahoo's entry in this increasingly crowded market shouldn't be a complete shock. Just two months ago, a Yahoo VP said that mobile devices open up "a whole new universe of contributors and users" for online communities.

In a sense, Yahoo is just playing catch-up to Google, which purchased SMS-based networking site Dodgeball in May of 2005. Google hasn't done much with Dodgeball yet other than link Dodgeball profiles to Google accounts, but clearly there are big things in the works.

And in the up-and-coming category we have Zemble. Zemble, which was just profiled in Wired's blog, is pushing easy-to-use group messaging and reply-to-all functionality. Not a bad idea, but it remains to be seen if Zemble can turn those neat features into a community (and if they can do it before the Yahoo's and Google's of the world get there). - Eli