User-Generated Content: Killer App Of Mobile

“When I finally break down and get a modern cellphone, here's one reason: content” – Clock — watching time, the only true currency, A journal from John Roberts.

The killer app for mobile after voice and email is content.

This will not be content pushed down to the masses from established media & news organizations or entertainment companies. Rather the content will be user-generated, published from the ground up (Nanopublishing?).

User created content is an integral part of many of the tethered commercial sites like (user reviews), eBay, Google (Blogger & Ad Sense program), Yahoo and AOL. This shift is also being recognized within enterprise as exampled by the direction knowledge management applications are moving. All this raises the question: “Will user created content – content made by one user and consumed by many others – become as pervasive on the mobile Internet as it is on the wired Internet?”(1)

The strongest pent up demand exists in the youth segment. Younger subscribers comprise the most attractive target demographic for user-generated content. Subscribers aged 18 to 25 are over twice as likely to use handsets for services other than voice communications. This same audience is responsible for the huge success SMS, IM, ringtones and mobile gaming has experienced. “Carriers, it will be remembered, had little faith in SMS until teens seized upon the service, reinvented it and made it an indispensable part of their mobile lifestyle.”(1)

No leader has emerged to define the mobile p2p/community market. The sector will evolve from the activities of branded and white label application service providers such as Wireless Ink that currently provides a focused mobile publishing & community platform (WINKsite –

Wireless Ink's belief is that the availability of simple and flexible tools for the publishing, personalization and distribution of user-generated content is essential to mobile adoption. Furthermore, mobile community services are a great way of building and discovering that content. “It is a maxim of the social sciences that people are more committed to something to which they have invested their efforts.”(1) Enabling people to post content, vote or contribute to a mobile site increases the likelihood that they will return – it's good business.

The monetization of those mobile communities are the logical next step (e.g. affiliate marketing, advertising, syndication, selling of personalized information & premium services, person-to-person payments, mobile selling, mobile auctions etc.) Critical to the success of these programs will be the safeguarding of an individual's privacy and personal data.

While the content-community-commerce model is not a new one it nonetheless remains a potentially disruptive one in regards to the mobile space — changing the status quo.

Note: More in future posts as to how content owners and carriers are invited to the party.


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