Mobile Social Media: The Next Great Disruptive Trend
Over 1.3 billion users are expected to access social media from mobile devices by 2016. This is almost double the number of mobile social media users in 2011, according to a report from Juniper Research.
The report found "the trend to integrate social, local and mobile experiences is driving the geosocial phenomena. People want to find out not only what their friends are doing, but also their location and other available activities in the area. Geosocial networks are particularly suited to the mobile space as most smartphones now include GPS, and have an 'always on, always connected' experience."
This also means digital content strategies for mobile social media will need to be reconstructed based on how content is consumed on these platforms. Unlike the PC/notebook era, mobile devices come in a dizzying array of screen sizes, platforms and user interfaces. Add to that the context in which the user is accessing the content. Context could be a mashup of any or all of the following:
Device: Smartphone or tablet. Size of screen etc.
Location: Where is the content being consumed...at home, while commuting, in an outdoor environment, in a noisy indoor area like a restaurant or a mall.
Time: When is the content being consumed and what would be the most relevant information at that time.
Social Relevance: What is their network consuming probably at that time and location. Also what are other people in their vicinity consuming.
Personalization: To what degree can the content be tailored to an individual. One way of doing this would be through data analytics of user and group behavior to serve up increasingly relevant content.
Attention Spans: If web attention spans were low, they are even lower on mobile devices. According to a survey on mobile content consumption users typically consumed:
a) Less than three paragraphs of text
b) Less than 30 seconds of audio
c) Less than one minute of video
Mobile social media creates new and exciting ways for businesses to connect with consumers. Information like location and time can be used to produce a compelling consumer experience. For example restaurants giving consumers details of its breakfast or lunch menus depending on the time the data was accessed. This could be followed by a discount coupon valid for a couple of hours and directions to the nearest restaurant. Compared to what most restaurant websites serve up today, it's almost as if boring old web pages got a magical Steve Jobs makeover. 2012 is already looking good.