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ABI Research predict 82m subscribers to mobile LBS social networks by 2013

Rachel Hawkes (Social Media Portal) - 06 November 2008

ABI Research predict 82m subscribers to mobile LBS social networks by 2013


New research paper by ABI Research predicts growth of mobile location based social networks will soar to 82 million in five years

Research company ABI Research has released a new report stating that mobile social networking will become a key driver in the uptake of location based services.  ABI Research predicts that more than 82 million people will subscribe to mobile location-based social networking sites by 2013.

ABI Research director Dominique Bonte states that although growth will be primarily driven by handset functionality, other factors will also play an important role.  Bonte comments, “Mobile Internet Devices (MIDS) with built in GPS (global positioning satellite) receivers have been announced, with location-based social networking site GyPSii supporting Moblin-based Intel Atom processor-powered MIDs.  Connected PNDs (portable navigation devices) and outdoor GPS solutions are obvious candidates for location-based networking.”

The report, which discusses market development, revenue opportunities and applications, will provide recommendations to major players along with shipment and revenue forecasts per region and per social networking type.

The report goes on to say, “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."

ABI Research also notes that an important trend will be the emergence of location-enabled instant messaging with applications such as Palringo Local and Nokia Chat which its believes are services that will enrich mobile communication with location context.

In August 2008, ABI Research predicted that revenue generated by mobile social networking would reach $3.3 billion by 2013.

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