Mobile social networking takes off: The Fierce 15 from 2008

In our sixth (and final) installment of our series looking back at the past winners of the Fierce 15 award, we arrive at the not-so-distant year of 2008. In each of FierceWireless' retrospectives of years past, a few key technology or market trends emerged.

If 2007 was the year that the mobile Internet really took off, 2008 was the year it evolved and matured. One of the most striking trends that sticks out from among 2008's winners is the rise of mobile social networking. Loopt (the social mapping company), Pelago (the company behind the Whrrl application) and uLocate (the owner of all latched onto the social networking craze--and are still in business, riding the trend.

Other winners have made a simple business model or technological achievement stand up and move forward, such as Cequint and ChaCha.

Of course, there are no sure-fire winners. Some members of the class of 2008 have dropped off the map while others thrive. The best ones are those that found a niche in the vast wireless industry and managed to fill it.

Click here to check out what happened to the Fierce 15 class of 2008.

We hope that you have enjoyed taking a look back at the Fierce 15 winners from the past (check out our retrospectives of the classes of 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007) and we hope to continue giving out the award to innovative startups for many years to come. --Phil