3 joins with Sony Ericsson to capture social networking market

3UK and Sony Ericsson have joined forces in an attempt to gain a meaningful share of the fast-growing mobile social networking sector. The two firms say Facebook, YouTube and Windows Live Messenger will be integrated into Sony Ericsson handsets that will become available from 3UK next month.

The first handset to feature this line-up of social networking sites will be the C510, which is part of Sony Ericsson's Cyber-shot range and includes a 3.2-megapixel camera. To kick-start the market, 3UK said, as part of a six-week exclusive, users of the new handset would be able to see friends' status updates and new photo alerts direct from their home screen, while all the WLM contacts would be visible in their phonebooks.

Recent industry forecasts point to there being more than 600 million users of mobile social networks by 2012, up from an estimated 15 million last year.

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