Forget watching the big social networks slug it out for market share. People want to take their social networks with them when they step away from the computer. That means applications have to be mobile friendly.
Most of the big networks have mobile versions of their site, with stripped down functionality. Facebook has, hands down, the best mobile application if you happen to own an iPhone. But for the most part, competition in the desktop arena has limited the amount of attention any of the big networks are giving to the mobile world.
That might just give some runway to new startups focused solely on mobile. We recently covered ZYB, a Danish startup that just launched a mobile social network on the back of it’s mobile address book backup service. The specifics of their service largely limit them to Europe, where users have more freedom to add applications to their mobile devices.
In the U.S., one of the stronger contenders is MocoSpace, a Boston based startup that launched a mobile-only social network last year (see coverage at MobileCrunch from April 2006).
The service is very easy to use from a mobile phone. Registration is dead simple – it took about 20 seconds on my iPhone earlier today. Right away MocoSpace starts to suggest possible friends based on proximity, online status or random selections. You can then add photos and video from your phone (or upload them from a desktop/laptop computer), chat with friends, and create a stripped down “blog” which is similar to Twitter in functionality.
MocoSpace says they are serving close to 500 million monthly page views – which is pretty impressive since “almost all” of those page views are from mobile devices. They are also approaching 1 million registered users, and 6,000 new users sign up daily.
MocoSpace raised a $3 million in a Series A financing in January 2007. Investors included General Catalyst, Pilot Group and Michael Deering. The company has 15 employees (half in Boston, half in Israel).
If you are a startup targeting the mobile social networking space, we want to hear from you.