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Social networking and the content shared among their users is coming to the mobile world.
Juicecaster lets users send video updates.
BY BRAD SMITH
ith the proliferation of 3G networks globally, it’s possible now to take a video on your phone and send it to a social networking site like YouTube, Facebook or MySpace. As video-capable phones increase in number and wireless broadband networks expand, analysts believe user-generated content also will expand. In fact, within the next five years, nearly 1 billion people could be using their mobile phones to send and receive user-generated content to each other and social networking sites on the Internet, according to estimates by Pyramid Research. The analyst firm estimates mobile social networking will start to take off in 2009, and by 2010 will reach 300 million users. By 2012, 18% of all mobile subscribers will be using phones to access a social network, or about 950 million people. Social networking sites and user-generated content (UGC) are intrinsically tied together, with members of YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and their brethren posting blogs, photos, videos and music clips.
“Video is where it’s at,” says Nick Desai, CEO of Juice Wireless, which is launching JuiceCaster 6.0 at the CTIA Wireless 2008 show. JuiceCaster is a mobile social-networking application and service that allows phone users to share videos, images and messages between devices and to online social networking sites. The upgrade allows users to create content like videos on their phones and send it as a status update to their friends. Desai says people who belong to social networks expect to be able to use their phones to access them. Since the mobile phone is becoming the primary communications device, he says, it only makes sense to use it and take advantage of its real-time, and location, capabilities. PUBLISHING VIDEOS One of the main reasons people sign up
for JuiceCaster is because they want to be able to use their phones to capture video or photos and publish them instantly to their social networking site (SNS). “We make that an easy, 1-click process,” he says, because JuiceCaster works within the camera application on the phone. JuiceCaster is offered through Cricket, Midwest Cellular, U.S. Cellular, T-Mobile USA and two Puerto Rican operators. Other deals with Tier 1 operators are expected to be announced soon. Desai says the service has 70,000 users, some of whom have a free WAP version and others who subscribe to be able to use the integrated camera feature. Juice also has a mobile video search service which allows members to search the JuiceCaster network for videos by subject. A British company named eMotive Communications also is eyeing the mobile UGC space. It already offers push services including songs, images and video through a deal with Skype, but CEO Anthony Stonefield says it will get into mobile uses soon. eMotive is developing the ability to provide usergenerated content as a kind of ringtone, which could include text that vibrates the phone, animation, video, a song clip or a voice recording. The service is most appropriate for 3G or 4G networks because of the bandwidth needed and because it works in an IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture. “We have more carrier trials requested than we can keep up with,” says Stonefield, because ringtone sales revenue has flattened. Personalized, user-generated content can change that, he says. USER-GENERATED TONES User-generated and commercial ringback tones are part of the portfolio of LiveWire Mobile, a division of NMS Communications. LiveWire’s service provides 10,000 songs as part of Virgin Mobile USA’s ringback service, which has 100,000 subscribers. John Orlando, marketing vice president for LiveWire, says the next step for ringback tones will be to make it possible for users to create their own tones. “We have operators Continued on page 41
LiveWire, which just acquired Groove Mobile, will allow users to create their own ringback tones.
Wireless Week April 1, 2008
International. Northbrook. even those with video capabilities. enclosing your current address mailing label. For custom reprints. Periodicals Mail postage paid at Rockaway. Human Resources Susanne Foulds Volume 14 Number 7. please write us. YouTube also has made select videos available through Verizon Wireless’ V CAST service. The editors make every reasonable effort to verify the information published.” a is the ability to use location information.” available through the carrier 3 U. Park 973-920-7705 • matt. If possible attach address label from recent issue. Northbrook. a British company. 600 “User-generated content 500 and social networking 400 are proven models [on the Internet].com Electronic Media Coordinator – Patrick Anderson 973-920-7707 • patrick. International Air Delivery is $126. Craig Kuhl.ross@advantagemedia. without the prior written permission of the publisher. Please address your request to Customer Service. Suite 600.O. he 1.O. P. Suite 310. 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All rights reserved under the United States. 300 “Consumers like to create 200 their own content and share 100 it with their friends. although only a small portion of the YouTube videos were available on phones.anderson@advantagemedia. so friends can share locationbased content in real time. Fax: 847-291-4816. still 3G network. July and August (21 times per year) by Advantage Business Media.com Technology Editor – Brad Smith 973-920-7710 • brad.000 says.com Online Editor – Evan Koblentz 973-920-7020 • evan. No part of this publication may be reproduced. Allow eight to 10 weeks for address change to become effective. USPS #014-436). Northbrook. and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.com/abww. Canada Post/Pitney Bowes agreement number: PM40063731. It recently opened its access even wider and now How to create and upload ringback tones using LiveWire’s service. 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