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Social networking has mixed success via mobile phone shows new report

A new survey warns of the importance of keeping social networking sites in perspective, given the hype around interest in the sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

The report by Leslie Haddon| of LSE's Media and Communications Department|, finds that currently just under a quarter (24 per cent) of internet users ever visit social networking sites (SNS) on mobile phones or smartphones.

They are much more likely to check email using their mobiles, with 43 per cent doing so in the survey of 709 conducted by ICM Research and reported in Mobile access to social networking, a UK survey. 

Photograph of a mobile phoneDr Haddon said: 'Obviously social networking does not dominate life online, despite the image that some of the more enthusiastic media coverage might imply. In fact only seven per cent of the whole sample use the various mobile devices to do so every day.

'On the other hand, this figure of roughly a quarter is still substantial given that SNS have been around far less time than the more established uses, such as email.'

Dr Haddon's survey also finds more latent interest in accessing SNS and the internet more generally via mobile phones if cost were to be less of a consideration. There is also some evidence that the small screen and keyboard size of mobiles is a barrier.

There also seems to be that pressure to check email throughout the day while SNS use tends to be seen as 'social time' and often takes place in the evening.

Dr Haddon ends his report by suggesting that while SNS has yet to become an integral part of peoples' mobile internet lives as email has, it is a habit that's quickly acquired. A quarter of those using SNS say that losing access would bother them and half of those think it would ruin their day.

The study was commissioned by Shine Communications Ltd on behalf of Vodafone.

Ends

The report is available at Department of Media and Communications|

For more information contact:
Leslie Haddon 020 8441 2959, L.G.Haddon@lse.ac.uk|

Press cuttings

Washington Post (22 July)
Social networking on mobile still not as strong as email and web In UK: survey
Only 24 percent of internet users access social networking sites with a mobile phone, according to a new survey done in the UK last month. 'Social networking does not dominate life online, unlike the image that some of the more enthusiastic media coverage might imply,' Leslie Haddon wrote in the report for the Communications Department (sic) at the London School of Economics, which was commissioned on behalf of Vodafone.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/22/AR2008072201690.html| 

Cellular News (18 July)
Social Networking Has Mixed Success Via Mobile Phones
A new survey warns of the importance of keeping social networking sites in perspective, given the hype around interest in the sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The report by Leslie Haddon of the London School of Economics' Media and Communications Department, finds that currently just under a quarter (24%) of internet users ever visit social networking sites (SNS) on mobile phones or smartphones.
http://www.cellular-news.com/story/32539.php| 

Silcon.com (17 July)
UK youths going mobile web crazy
Mobile social networking is also popular with many gadget-owning Brits, the survey conducted by ICM Research and the London School of Economics (LSE) for mobile operator Vodafone has found. 

9 July 2008

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