Virgin Mobile USA Goes Social

virginmobile.jpgIf you’re the sort of mobile user who has Virgin Mobile service then you’re probably the type who likes to show off your individuality. You run with a different pack, and you can’t even be bothered with the whole iPhone thing. At least that’s what the Virgin Mobile ad campaign had to say earlier this summer.

Virgin Mobile USA users can now share their feelings with like-minded people. The carrier has partnered with Intercasting Corporation to bring a diverse selection of social networking and community Web sites to its mobile carriers on the ANTHEM platform.

“We’ve built our success around empowering our customers and giving them maximum flexibility and control,” said Dominick Tolli, vice president for Virgin Mobile USA’s Mobile Data Services division. “There is a growing number of social networking sites that reflect different lifestyles and interests, and we’re committed to putting our customers in the driver’s seat: that is, enabling them to create their own individual experiences, determining how and with whom they want to communicate, whenever they like.”

The ANTHEM platform is designed to provide a Web-like experience for users. Among the social networking sites now available to Virgin Mobile users:

    AsianAve – a destination for Asian Americans 18+
    BlackPlanet – a social network for African-Americans
    GLEE – one of the top 20 gay and lesbian sites on the Web
    MiGente – one of the fastest growing English language Hispanic communities
    LiveJournal – a site where users can express themselves through journals, blogs and discussion forms
    Vox – a place to post and share photos and videos

This service is available on Java-enabled Virgin Mobile handsets, including the Cyclops, the Slider Sonic and the Switch_Back phones. Plans are already in place to extend the platform to a wider variety of phones in the near future.

Pricing plans include the option to pay by the day or by the month, with 24 hours costing $1.00 (with a cap of half a megabyte of data), and $3.99 for a month, with a cap of five megabytes of data. We’ll be curious if power users cap out very quickly, and if Virgin has any alternate pricing options for those extremely social types. In the meantime, if you go over the cap, you’ll just have to make calls with the handset to be social. What a concept!

Virgin Mobile USA