Orange have just announced an exclusive deal with Bebo, to bring the social space exclusively to Orange customers on-the-move. This follows from Vodafone’s recent exclusive deal with the ever-popular MySpace. Nobody really knows how long this ‘exclusivity’ will last.
Sorry to moan, but I thought that social networks were all about openness, connectedness and participation! But these exclusive mobile deals mean that not everyone will have access on their mobile. I guess we could call this ‘anti-social networking’. The Orange CEO talks about the benefits of ‘anywhere’ and ‘anytime’. But what about ‘anyone’?! They have put the technology first, and the consumer second. We been hearing predictions for 2007 as the year of mobile social networking, but this is unlikely to happen if people can’t actually connect through their mobile with all their friends in their network.