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Web 2.0 social media functionality fuels already-hot market for mobile telephony
A Canadian research study confirms the obvious and not-so-obvious connections
May 21, 2010 – Calgary AB – Canadians have long been among the world’s most active users of mobile telephones. Recent market research now confirms that Canadians are also early adopters in taking mobile telephony to the next level – with mobile Web 2.0 and its plethora of social media platforms, tools and applications.

Drawing from research data from one of its syndicated studies, ZINC Research points to significant growth opportunities in the Web-savvy smart phone market – and warns that business operators and marketers, regardless of what business they’re in, are ignoring these phenomena at their own peril. Among the report’s highlights:

Social media to go
  • Nearly half of Internet-capable cell phones are equipped with social media applications, such as Facebook (on 46% of phones), MSNSpaces (18%), Twitter (9%) and others.
  • 21% of mobile Facebook users (and, to a lesser extent, users of other less popular platforms) regularly check in and update their status from their Internet-capable mobile phones.
“Social media tools like Facebook are all about staying connected,” says ZINC Research president Brian F. Singh. “Mobile functionality now enables people to stay in touch with their friends, family and colleagues no matter where they are, without needing to use a computer. It’s now easier and more convenient than ever, and that’s driving more growth in the mobile telephony market.”



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Smart phone popularity fuelled by user-generated content and convenient connectivity
As expected, 69% of those who intend to buy a smart phone are looking for mobile email access and text messaging – yet these stats paint a picture that’s far from complete:
  • 52% of respondents want to be able to shoot – and share – their photographs and video;
  • 48% want to surf the Web;
  • Other functionalities are also picking up steam, such as GPS support, music and media access (e.g., iTunes, YouTube), and many others.

“User-generated content and anywhere/anytime access are driving the growing popularity of smart phones,” says Brian F. Singh. “You can now post all kinds of content right from your phone. Our study shows, for example, that one in five people are already posting photos from their smart phone cameras. And the people you are connected with want to have that real-time interaction with you – seeing your video, seeing your pictures. It’s a much richer experience.”



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Mobile social media innovations pose far-reaching implications for businesses
“The digital media landscape is changing rapidly,” Brian Singh explains. “Through the integration of mobile telephone and social media, the way people interact and communicate is much more immediate, and the impact this can have on businesses of almost every kind cannot be overstated. Imagine you’re in the mall, shopping for a new appliance; now you can compare prices, find the best deals or the nearest outlet for a brand you’re looking for – all right on the spot, and get instantaneous feedback.

“You might also ask for recommendations and referrals, not only from your own friends but also by searching through blogs, chat sites, product reviews, and a host of websites that are packed with information, positive or otherwise. Retailers, manufacturers, distributors, marketers, product designers – you name it – everyone has a stake. Everyone can win, or lose, substantial market share depending on their ability to embrace this new media landscape and be part of it.”

ZINC study provides insights on social media trends for marketers and business leaders
For over four years ZINC Research has conducted specialized social media research that helps client organizations in the public and private sectors explore noteworthy trends and ideas. The firm periodically releases material from its studies six to eight months after their completion, based on its relevance to topical issues. In this case, the data originated in a syndicated survey, The Bridge, a comprehensive study of social media usage that ZINC has conducted regularly since 2007 , using a survey sample of 1,200 online respondents. For more information on The Bridge and ZINC’s other research offerings, contact Brian F. Singh at 403.269.7526.

About ZINC Research
Founded in Calgary in 2006, ZINC provides online and onsite quantitative and qualitative market surveys and analysis for regional and international private and public sector clients throughout North America. Founding president Brian F. Singh is a market researcher and economist with over 20 years of experience. He has worked as an advisor and project manager in a broad range of industry sectors, including tourism, the environment, engineering, retail, financial services, demography, health and wellness, and information technology. For more information on ZINC Research, visit: www.zincresearch.com