MocoSpace is built on the premise that the majority of mobile device users don't have expensive, cutting-edge technology in their pockets -- but they do have basic cell phones with varying levels of Web access. MocoSpace has built its audience mostly by word of mouth, and seems to have engineered success by not limiting its appeal to high-end users.
This approach has also led MocoSpace to take a cross-platform approach. One of the benefits of MocoSpace is that it works on virtually any mobile device. It isn't tied to any specific platform, device or company. In fact, while MocoSpace has partnership deals with some companies, it isn't an "on-deck" mobile service. That means it isn't restricted to certain companies' mobile devices. Users interact directly with MocoSpace through a regular mobile Web browser.
There are some drawbacks to this, however. MocoSpace's engineers have to do a lot of optimization and tweaking to get the site's various video and photo sharing systems to function with such a wide variety of devices. And some cell phone service providers block some of MocoSpace's functionality as a result of their being off-deck.
MocoSpace is free to its users. The company makes money by selling advertising. While customers who can access MocoSpace with a mobile device see essentially the same content that appears on the regular Web site, much of the advertising is customized for mobile delivery. MocoSpace touts their access to detailed customer demographic information as a key asset in their quest to earn more advertising dollars.
Also available to MocoSpace users is a built-in music store. MocoSpace has partnerships with several music labels and offers songs by pop and urban artists.
Compared to many other social networking Web sites, MocoSpace has a very young user group: 80 percent of users are under age 30, 50 percent are under age 24, and 25 percent are teens [source: Roush]. This has led to some controversy, because the user-posted videos and photos are sometimes sexually provocative. MocoSpace claims that all user-posted content is reviewed by MocoSpace staff before it's approved, but some parents may not like the tone of the discussions on the site or the nature of the images and videos.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Jackson, Jasper. "Mobile social network tops U.S. mobile web visits." Strategy Eye. May 22, 2009. (July 27, 2009) http://digitalmedia.strategyeye.com/article/ab6c7bc242/2009/05/22/Mobile_social_network_tops_US_mobile_web_visits/
- Johnson, Carolyn. "Moving way beyond small talk." Boston Globe. Aug. 29, 2007. (July 21, 2009) http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/08/29/moving_way_beyond_small_talk
- Roush, Wade. "MocoSpace's Winning Formula for Feature-Phone Social Networking." Xconomy. May 20, 2009. (July 21, 2009) http://www.xconomy.com/boston/2009/05/20/mocospaces-winning-formula-for-feature-phone-social-networking/
- Schonfeld, Erick. "MocoSpace Raises $4 Million B Round." TechCrunch. Jan. 7, 2008. (July 19, 2009) http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/27/mocospace-raises-4-million-b-round/