I found this blog written more than two years ago that lists 38 mobile social networking sites. Two years later 17 of them survived an onslaught of smart phones, apps for everything, and sites like Facebook and Twitter going mobile.
Of those 17, four offer mobile services Facebook, Twitter, and others don’t. I listed those mobile social networking sites, and I put asterisks next to the four that set themselves apart.
Veeker – * Take videos on your computer and send them to your cell phone and any other cell phone.
3jam – Includes visual voicemail, voicemail sharing, and more. Not really mobile social networking, but it was on the original list.
flagr – * Create maps of your favorite places and share them with friends.
Socialight – Lets you build iPhone app. Not really a mobile social networking site, but it was on the original list.
Jaiku – Update your Jaiku stream. You can see your friends’ availability, location, and calendar events.
Zannel – Update several sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and more.
Mig33 – Use the chat feature to connect to your e-mail and various other social networking platforms.
Mobiluck – * Let’s you know where your friends are, and sends you an SMS when your friends are in your area.
Broadtexter – Create a mobile club for your brand. Good for people who have an audience (tribe).
Zinadoo – Not really mobile social networking, but you can create a mobile website.
MocoSpace - Includes free chat, games, videos, and more.
BrightKite – Update groups of people via text.
Treemo – * Create a personal mobile page via media: Image, video, audio, and text.
Wadja – A microblogging platform.
Rabble – Picture-sharing, blogging, places, groups, messaging.
JuiceCaster – Share your photos and videos from your cell phone.
Shozu – Updates your favorite sites at once.
Mobile social networking must evolve as mobile phones and major social networking sites evolve. Here’s a smaller but more recent list by ReadWriteWeb. Give it another year or so and more sites on both lists will be outdated.
I don’t think I’m important enough for people to want to receive texts that I found a coffee house that makes an apple cinnamon latte (Such a find might be worth the 140 characters via Twitter). If I see a good book, I might let people know. But I consider mobile social networking platforms other than Facebook and Twitter overkill. What do you think? Do we need mobile social networking sites that update people via text? Where will mobile social networking be a year from now?
If you want me to update you about the jerk who cut me off, the cute waitress who smiled at me, or any other personal details, let me know. I’ll text you directly. The point is, it’s one thing to make your Tweets personal. When it comes to forming groups and updating people via text, unless your Ashton Kutcher or Lebron James, that’s overkill. Aside from that, they use Twitter like the rest of us to update people.