The number of mobile social networking users, worldwide, is forecast to reach 4.4 billion by 2024, driven by the increasing penetration of smartphones and tablets, high-speed broadband, and development of live streaming apps.
Mobile Social Networking, an offshoot of the web-based social networking, is defined as social spaces structured to facilitate collaboration, communication, and sharing of similar interests/activities, photos, audios, videos, and information across various networks and contacts using the mobile phone as the platform. The trend of mobile social networking has been fast catching up owing to its benefits of offering users with an easy and convenient solution for keeping in touch with a large pool of friends and acquaintances through their mobile phones or any other hand-held device. Growing penetration of mobile phones compatible with social networking applications is a major factor currently driving growth in the mobile social networking industry. Increasing adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, and phablets has led to the explosive growth in mobile social networking.
Future growth in the market will be driven by fast paced urbanization, changing lifestyle trends, increased role of digital platforms in day-to-day life, strong growth in mobile subscriber base, high-speed broadband, and sophisticated wireless technologies including Wi-Fi routers. Technological advancements pertaining to mobile phones, tablets and other handheld devices, integration of more visual centric communication, virtual reality and augmented reality, and development of live streaming apps are all poised to benefit the mobile social networking market in the long term. The trend towards personalization of video services is also propelling the growth of mobile social networking. The rising popularity of mobile social networking has led to a surge in social media advertising and marketing over the years. Companies are increasingly promoting their brands on mobile social media in a bid to expand their customer base. Further, businesses have enthusiastically embraced social media and have made it one of their key channels of communication, both for communicating externally and internally.
Asia-Pacific constitutes the largest market worldwide. The region also represents one of the fastest growing markets driven by huge investments in mobile communications infrastructure, large underserved market base with low mobile service penetration levels, rapid urbanization, growing middle class population, and rising popularity of social media sites and apps. The Middle East & Africa represents the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 14.4% over the analysis period. The growth in the region is led by growing penetration of smartphones, and rise of visually orientated social networks in the region.
Major players in the market include Facebook Inc., WhatsApp Inc., Google Inc., YouTube LLC, LINE Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, LinkedIn Corporation, Pinterest, Reddit Inc., Snap Inc., Tencent Holdings Limited, Tumblr Inc., Twitter Inc., and Viber Media S.a r.l, among others.