Home The Future of Mobile Social Networks: 4 Promising Services

The Future of Mobile Social Networks: 4 Promising Services

Recently we discussed some of the problems plaguing mobile social networks. These problems include location, marketing strategies and compatibility issues. Our readers also contributed their thoughts on hardware compatibility and GPS. While no network is perfect, in this post we profile some of the key players in the market. Here’s a look at four mobile social networks that may have what it takes.


We’ve already profile Brightkite as a winning mobile social network in the arena. Brightkite allows for your network of friends to keep track of where others may be at any moment. Since no GPS is required, users can send updates to the service via text messaging or email, to update their profile with location updates, pictures, and notes. With a host of privacy settings to prevent any form of stalking, Twitter users are increasingly using the network to update friends with status locations sent to their Twitter streams. Brightkite may be one of the best mobile networks to use, especially when going to a conference or big event in town.

Update: We’ve got 100 Brightkite invites for you. Just leave us your info below. (Remember, OpenID users, email might not be displayed so make sure you let us know what it is).


Taking a different approach from Brightkite, Zyb aims to be a mobile contact organizer for your social network. While we already have our address books for this, Zyb looks to provide a way for you to backup and synchronize your contacts online. You can store your phone numbers, calendar and texts, manage this information online, and transfer your information to a new phone if there ever comes a time. You can also use Zyb to find out who has you in their phones as a contact and even discover friends of friends. Think of Zyb as an expansion on your Facebook pictures and contacts only more mobile.


Groovr is your mobile network’s night out on the town. Post a picture, message, or video to your Groovr profile and have it sent to all your friends too. Instant chat? Groovr’s got you covered. However, some of these features are redundant. Can’t we already send messages, pictures, and videos to our friends without a third party? The only feature we found remotely unique is a city’s Explore page on Groovr. All of your posted items are sent to the corresponding cities Explore page. Here’s a peek at San Francisco on Groovr:


Developed by MoBlast Technologies, Fon11 could become the hottest mobile social network for the iPhone. With a nice UI (of course) and great features like the ability to see just how far away your contacts are from you, availability status messages, visibility settings and more, it seems Fon11 has a lot more to offer than the rest of the pack. Fon11 has already been ported to Android and Nokia Web Runtime with development plans in the works for J2ME and Windows Mobile platforms. While GPS remains an issue through no fault of Moblast, we’ve been assured that there are many strategies in development to find a resolution.

Has the Future of Mobile Social Networks Arrived?

With so much to offer, it’s not hard to envision mobile social networks taking off on the coattails of the social web. Brightkite is already seeing a steady climb, Groovr could become the best mobile social network for finding out what’s going on in town, and Fon11 may see its moment of fame well before the 3G iPhone hits. Has the future arrived? We’ll leave that for you to decide, while we sit and wait anxiously for more.

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