45% of US Mobile Internet Users Will Use Social Networks By 2013

607.5 million mobile internet users world wide are expected to access social networks from their devices by 2013 according to a new report “Mobile Social networks: Marketing by Location Shows Potential“ from eMarketer. In the US, that percentage is expected to be slightly higher (45%) and represent 56.2 million individuals.

Top Social Networks = Top Mobile Social Networks

Not surprisingly, the report found that the top destinations for mobile social networkers are the same for computer users – underscoring the fact that there is no online-vs.-offline, computer-vs.-mobile distinctions, we have one world with multiple means of communication based on what is most convenient at the time.

The top-10 mobile social networks list:

  1. Facebook
  2. MySpace
  3. YouTube
  4. Twitter
  5. Yahoo
  6. MSN/Windows Live/Bing
  7. Flickr
  8. LinkedIn
  9. Blogger
  10. MocoSpace

What this means to consumers

While many online companies are very careful of your privacy, security and safety, we simply cannot assume the industry as a whole will act ethically.

With greater urgency than ever before, consumers need to define the rules of online engagement with companies, and services. We are late in demanding adequate consumer protections in social media applications, and we need fix this or we will utterly lose our right to privacy, and to control our information, forever.

Recent events show just how appallingly careless and/or exploitive major companies within the industry continue to be. Social gaming companies base their revenue models on scamming consumers. Mega-corporations wait months to notify consumers of data breaches. Social networks only step up to issue safety tips after a death occurs. Data aggregators exploit and sell personal information. And the tawdry list goes on.

Follow the money

Companies are in the business of making money and minimizing costs and there is big money in the mobile social media market. MediaBuyerPlanner expects overall mobile advertising to generate $416 million in US ad spending this year, and to grow 27% globally to $2.1 billion in 2010.

When revenue goals trample consumers’ rights there needs to be a loud and painful outcry. You have the right to safety, privacy and security when using products in what we quaintly refer to as the ‘physical world’. These rights must be extended across our full world – online-and-offline, computer-and-mobile.

There needs to be oversight to ensure that privacy, transparency, data minimization or compartmentalization, security, integrity, accountability, and terms of use have all been measured to keep consumers best interests at the forefront of product design and delivery.

Act now

You have a vital role to play. As consumers you can—and should—vote with your feet if the experience you’re having on a service doesn’t meet your expectations. You can – and should – let your elected officials know when corporate exploitation is occurring online.

You can make a difference. Your safety rights won’t be established in Internet programs and services overnight. But if you let companies and elected officials know what you think, they will surely be delivered faster.

Linda

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