MySpace Launches MVNO

MySpace, the supersite for teens, has announced the launch of its own branded “mobile virtual network operator” network. The service and phones will be powered/provided by Helio LLC, which is a joint venture of Earthlink Inc. and South Korean carrier SK Telecom Co. The service will reportedly use the networks of Sprint and Verizon. No specific launch date has been set.

The idea is that teens and others on MySpace can use the phones to access their personal pages and other content on the go.

Like the integration of Google or Yahoo! into forthcoming Motorola handsets, this has the potential to do some very interesting things. If successful (let’s wait and see) it could help determine what the effective mobile ad models will be. It could also spur the launch of a 1,001 of these MVNOs, many of which are already in the works. It will also reveal the impact of social networks on mobile devices and could generate an entire range of new, similar applications or at least accelerate their development and deployment.

MySpace is smartly leveraging its hot brand to expand to other areas now, before it has a chance to cool or falter. There’s a growing MySpace backlash because of the concern about sexual predators using the site to target teens and young people. This danger, if real, would be considerably exacerbated by a mobile MySpace.

Parents’ growing concern/dislike for MySpace is only likely to boost its popularity in the near term however. It is hard to imagine that MySpace will be as big three or five years from now. But it is possible the site will have “morphed” into something else with greater stability and staying power.

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3 Responses to “MySpace Launches MVNO”

  1. Search Engine Journal » MySpace Losing Its Cool? Says:

    […] As I’ve argued in the past, the challenge is preserving MySpace’s appeal to its target audiences, especially in view of increasing competition, appealing to advertisers and sustaining the appeal to both consituencies over time. MySpace is rapidly “institutionalizing” to do just that — building out features, brand extensions (e.g., IM, Video and Mobile) and monetization strategies. However, paradoxically, the more it “institutionalizes” to stablize and grow revenues (a market and News Corp. imperative) the more it might be vulnerable to “cooler” less established upstarts. […]

  2. Of Phones, Local and Mo-Soc-Nets « Screenwerk Says:

    […] The article goes on to say that Sprint’s youth brand Boost Mobile will announce similar services next week. Previously Helio announced a deal with MySpace, where it acts as the MVNO. Yahoo! (and all its services, including Local and IM) are available through Helio. […]

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