Charl Norman

iPhone social networks


With the launch of the iPhone 3G in South Africa and witnessing the hype first hand, I was thinking iPhone-only social networks have a serious chance at generating traction internationally and even in our local market.

iPhone owners, like most users of Apple products, are a fairly obsessed, elitist group of people. An iPhone-only social network, if it had the right set of features, would be a huge hit with iPhone users. Sort of an exclusive network for the select users who are privileged enough to own an iPhone.

Vodacom, who has sole distribution rights for the iPhone in South Africa, should have built a social network for iPhone users and pre-installed the application onto all their iPhone stock. So when a new iPhone user fires up his new iPhone 3G for the first time he/she would be one click (touch) away from enabling their account on this exclusive social network. Imagine being able to share photos, music and broadcast your location to all iPhone users in SA.

They did this very well with their ‘Vodafone Live” presence which was installed on all phones sold by Vodacom with huge success. Although, I think Apple only allows their unit in China to open and work on the iPhone behind the covers.

Some international developers have built social applications for the iPhone. Here is a list of iPhone social networks built using the freely available iPhone SDK

Fon 11 – Fon11 is a social, phone utility that lets you connect with the people you would normally call, SMS, or IM. Using Fon11 you can tell your friends whether or not you are busy, out of town, or dying to meet up. You can share your whereabouts and see who is in your neighborhood.

iPhoneColony — A full social network for the iPhone crowd with all of the usual features and allows you to create communities. You can’t access iPhonecolony unless you are on a iPhone

iRovr — A social network developed specifically for users of the iPhone. Has all the normal bells and whistles … just iPhone sized.