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Online Social Networkers Consume More Media Content

Two recent surveys conducted by ABI Research have revealed that compared to average mobile phone service subscribers, those who also participate in online social networking via sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo are much heavier consumers of digital content including text messages, mobile email, photos, music, games and mobile TV. These findings are detailed in a new white paper from ABI Research, available for free download on the firm’s website.

“The fact that online social networkers consume more mobile content and media than mobile subscribers who aren’t into online networking may not be really surprising,” says principal analyst Nick Holland. “However, what we have long suspected is now confirmed by the numbers: for most kinds of mobile content, online social networkers consume about twice as much as their non-networked peers.”

The two surveys, conducted online in the United States in November, 2007, sampled just over 1000 mobile subscribers and just over 500 online social network mobile subscribers respectively.

Three quarters of the latter group were aged between 18 and 30, and were twice as likely to own a smartphone as their non-networked equivalents.

What drives online social networkers towards consumption of mobile media? They are on average younger and more tech-savvy for a start. Also, many social networking networks are organized around a specific media-related interest such as photography or music.

What are the implications for the mobile content industry? According to Holland, “Advertising on social networks isn’t working particularly well, so promotion of mobile content on online social network sites should be a high priority for mobile operators, content distributors, media companies, and advertisers.”

“Mobile Content End-User Survey,” a white paper which presents and interprets the results of the two surveys in detail, is available free on the ABI Research website. (Free site registration is required.) It can be viewed or downloaded here. [ABI Research]

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