Social networking jumps to mobile phones
New online services with names like Kyte, Twitter, Radar and Jaiku that leverage the power of today’s advanced mobile devices are enabling users to share (or overshare) round-the-clock chronicles of their travels, tribulations and triumphs to friends and family. These new phone-oriented services take the burgeoning youth culture of exhibitionism to new levels,
Kyte offers software that allows users to sent their photos and videos — however grainy — from their phones to their online Kyte “channel,” which can be linked to their own Web site or MySpace page. In some cases the video stream can be viewed live. “To run a television network used to require expensive cameras, a satellite connection and studios,” says Kyte co-founder Daniel Graf. “But the production costs have gone down to zero. Now you can share your life over a mobile phone, and someone is always connected, watching.”
Radar, a service offered by San Francisco startup Tiny Pictures, is similar to Kyte in that users send their camera-phone pictures to the Web or to other Radar users’ phones. But it differs in that sharing is restricted to users’ friends who have been invited to view them. And Twitter is geared toward bloggers, allowing users to broadcast short text messages to their friends and strangers.
Meanwhile, mobile phone companies are also eying mobile social networking, led by Helio, a joint venture of Earthlink and SK Telecom of South Korea. Social networking “is at the core of the company strategy,” says Helio senior VP Michael Grossi, adding that the company plans to introduce a handset with a fold-out standard keyboard for easier typing. New York Times 30 Apr 2007