Mobile Social Networks: A New Locus of Innovation

Mobile Social Networks: A New Locus of Innovation

Nina D. Ziv (New York University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-104-9.ch003
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Abstract

This chapter discusses how virtual social networks have evolved from their original purpose of being online meeting places where people interact with one another to becoming an important locus for innovation. It delineates the salient characteristics of these networks (both Web-based and mobile) and suggests that the advent of these networks has shifted the balance of value creation away from traditional companies and towards the creation of companies which provide technology platforms and services for user-centric innovation. The chapter discusses how users on these virtual networks have become important sources of innovation in a variety of ways: they develop content which they share with others and participate in virtual community centers; they interact with companies who are developing products and provide valuable feedback; and they are the impetus for the creation of new kinds of marketing tools as businesses try to tap into these virtual networks in order to better understand what products will sell to these users. In addition, the chapter discusses the implications of these developments for managers, especially those in content-intensive industries such as financial services and media. Examples will be given to support these ideas from case studies on Upoc, a New York City-based mobile services company which hosts social networks for a wide variety of users; Dodgeball, another New York City-based company (recently acquired by Google) which is one of the pioneers in the mobile social networking arena; and Tapuz Mobile, an Israeli-based social network.

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