Mobiluck is another company that has rapidly realized the need for mobile information and mobile geo-locating people and places.
Many companies are moving to the mobile space for a variety of reasons, but businesses that make the jump sooner tend to see the benefits much earlier and the relationships between users and companies tends to be stronger.
Companies providing mobile web content, mobile media, mobile conversation tools, and mobile entertainment are finding themselves ahead of the curve and supplying their audiences with exactly what they need.
Specifically, Mobiluck is a mobile service that allows users to find friends, places, and even people nearby with their smartphone. If you’ve got an account on Skype, AIM, or MSN for example, those friends can be included on the Mobiluck system, and their locations relative to yours will be shared and if they are nearby, what a great way to notify them.
When asked if importing of contacts is remainst strictly to chat clients, Oliver Chouraki, CEO of Mobiluck says, “Yes at the moment you can import your MSN and other chat client contacts and we are working on Facebook and Twitter.”
The service offered by Mobiluck is a location based service that is a more real life social network, allowing users to connect no matter where they are. Many will relate it to the online site, FriendFinder, but Mobiluck specializes in using the contacts you have on your programs and sharing just how far they are away from you.
Currently the service has 1.2 million people worldwide. “Our first place country is India, followed by the United States with rising numbers in Europe and the Middle East,” states Olivier on the rising popularity of the service.
The Importance of Location Technology
The concept of location technology is nothing new, we’ve been using these types of services on our GPS systems and on our cell phones with apps like FourSquare. Mobiluck is a social system that goes beyond connecting people with businesses, they look to connect people with people.
If you look at the homepage on Mobiluck you will see simple text boxes where you can enter a keyword and you have ready buttons to search for places, friends, or people.
“It’s not just tied to people you know, you can also search for people you don’t know so that you can meet new people who are at the same conference or in the same restaurant or at the same show and so on,” details Olivier.
“We think that mobile social networks are extremely popular but today it is difficult to monetize and to create a profitable social network. On the other hand, the business model for yellow pages services, business directories, restaurant directories is very clear and can be very profitable. So what we are trying to do is combine the volumes of power of social networking with the profitability of yellow pages,” he continues sharing the business model for the company.
It’s an interesting model considering that many social networks out there are still struggling with ways to monetize their efforts. Twitter for example has struggled with how to turn the millions and millions of users into a profitable community. Mobiluck offers up a business model that future social networks may emulate.
Relationships with Businesses
The vision of many mobile companies is that the mobile will be used for finding and being found. Many companies have an online presence, whether they own their website or just listed in directories, but due to the lack of understanding, very few of these sites are accessible on personal mobile devices. It’s not an uncommon thing since development for the mobile web is significantly different then general web site design.
More often than not a company may not even be aware of their online presence, and if they do now they don’t know the difference between a standard website and a mobile site.
As more and more people turn to mobile devices for information and interaction, companies that fail to realize the difference will be on the losing end of this turn in culture trends.
“With Mobiluck companies can create their webpage in one minute for free. If you have a shop or a restaurant for example, you add a new place by filling out a form, and in a minute you have your own mobile page with a static web address that will be indexed by mobile search engines that not only Mobiluck users will be able to find your page, but anyone searching Google mobile or yellowpages mobile can still find your page and it will show what a lot of mobile users want to know: a shop description, name, the address of your place with a map, your phone number with a click to call, a price range and operation hours,” Olivier states.
This type of return on information is what users are looking for when they are looking for informaiton on their mobile. Data consistently shows that users become frustrated and move on if there are barriers to getting this information. But aside from just receiving the information, users want to engage with that information and interact with others.
Next Generation Search
The next generation of search is more than just finding information, but what do people do with it? Mobiluck has seen the light, and many others in the mobile market are seeing the light too.
Users feel more comfortable when they can interact with the information they are given by being able to rate something, comment on something, and share other people’s ratin gand coments. Favoriting and bookmarking are hot items right now and this type of information sharing is what has made the Web 2.0 era so dynamic.
Businesses will not have a direct way to communicate with users, and users will have a new way to connect with their friends. With Mobiluck specifically, companies will be able to manage an internal mobile newsletter that keeps visitors and searchers informed on specials, events, and other important information related to the business. This information can be shared and responded to creating a two way street for information.
Mobiluck will be speaking at Mobile Monday in Zurich, Switzerland on December 7, 2009. Be sure to pay special attention to the companies in the mobile space as they will collectively define the future of how we interact with data, businesses, and with one another.