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Mobile LBS Social Networking to Reach 82 Million Subscribers by 2013, Says ABI

Mobile location-based social networking is expected to become a key driver for the
uptake of location-based services as it provides a unifying framework for a
large set of applications such as friend finders, local search and geo-tagging.
While many LBS applications will include features allowing the sharing of
real-time experiences via fixed social networking sites such as Facebook and
MySpace, fully-fledged mobile location-based social networking sites will also
gain momentum with more than 82 million subscriptions expected by
2013.

“While
growth will be mainly driven by the availability of multimedia-centric GPS
handsets, other mobile form factors will also become important”, says ABI
Research director Dominique Bonte. “Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) with built-in
GPS receivers have been announced, with location-based social networking site
GyPSii supporting Moblin-based Intel Atom processor-powered MIDs. Connected PNDs
and outdoor GPS solutions are other obvious candidates for location-based
networking. Nissan Carwings’ in-car telematics solution allows the sharing and
ranking of fuel consumption in Japan.”

 

Licensing
agreements with carriers and handsets manufacturers will be a crucial success
factor for location-enabled social sites to reach critical market share. While
initially a wide range of business models will coexist, ultimately
advertising-based models will prevail due to the perfect fit with the local
search- and content-driven social context.

 

Another
important trend is the emergence of location-enabled instant messaging with
applications such as Palringo Local and Nokia Chat enriching mobile
communication with location context.

 

ABI
Research’s study Location-Based Mobile Social Networking offers
insight into trends, social networking features, drivers, barriers and includes
detailed descriptions of solutions and market players, with special focus on
business models. It also provides recommendations to all major players and
shipment and revenue forecasts per region and per location-based social
networking type. It forms part of the Location Aware Services, Consumer Mobility and Mobile Content Research Services.