07:50 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman

Social Networking Coming to Mobile Phones, BlackBerrys

SiliconRepublic, CNET News

Research in Motion says the future of the BlackBerry is in social networking. Vodafone and Yahoo are on board.Speaking at GSMA's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, RIM's chief executive Jim Balsillie said that mobile carriers have to decide whether they want to be "pipes" or "platforms," and if the latter, they must provide applications and Web services via handsets. And among those services, according to Balsillie, is social networking, which he predicted would become a major business activity. "Once social networking becomes a B2B phenomenon--not unlike IM and texting--I believe every single social-networking user will want a data plan," he told the GSMA audience.

His presentation echoed the earlier words of Arun Sarin, CEO of British mobile telco Vodafone. Sarin sees mobile technology extending beyond text and voice to serve a customer who wants to be increasingly socially connected.

Also riding the wave is Yahoo, which took the wraps off OneConnect, its social networking tool for mobile phones. OneConnect, which will combine email, text, instant messaging, and social networking, is expected to launch later this year.SiliconRepublic, CNET News

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