Mobile Affected Socialization

Gonca Telli Yamamoto. Mobilized Marketing and the Consumer: Technological Developments and Challenges. Hershey, PA: Business Science Reference, 2010.

While mobile intrusion comes to life insidiously, it has been affecting our lives in many different ways. At first social networking and some implementations such as mobile dating comes to mind. On the other hand, mobile literacy and educational implementations are evolving and spreading rapidly with the facilities of mobile systems. Having turned into one of the most important elements that trigger and develop the social genes in the twentieth century, communication technology is also drawing the attention with its impacts that direct socialization. Internet and cyberspaces which are used in mobile communication create communication organs with their multi but non-conflicting features for person to person connections, where individuals focus on a unity through the utilization of different modes to connect (Urry, 2002). This environment is suitable to create virtual societies where many people join with various reasons and they should also be considered in terms of marketing.

The inclusion of people on the Internet as social actors evokes gathering metaphor on the background. General behaviors of any kind of gathering such as chatting, discussing, challenging and keeping secrets are also seen on this platform (Sproull & Faraj, 1997). Chat rooms, organized clubs, facebook type of websites, and virtual games are places where people spend time or perform communication-based activities.

According to Han, Kim & Lee (2005), a virtual society communicates with each other in this environment via electronic media such as Internet, and create similar areas of interest, and develop a participative intellect without requiring the interrogation of geographical location, physical interaction or ethnic origins. These societies can be defined as groups without boundaries. Mobile societies work with similar approaches and new formations of these societies has not completed their development.

Changing Thinking Styles & Social Gathering Metaphor

The Internet is considered as a place that brings people together with its means. People, who use information on Internet that creates the communication network, are not only the processors of information, but also the participants and programmers of social activities. Internet encompasses not only information, but also a search for a relationship, support and approval. With new mobile technologies, relationships can be formed very quickly beforetime.

In the social gathering metaphor, Internet and mobile devices are not just used in terms of personal information production process. It also provides the participation of the person in the social process through the communication, discussions and joint evaluations and it can be evaluated as a social element where the change-causing contributions are structured and distributed. In this metaphor, communication is based on the relationship between individuals. In the environment where people are regarded as social actors, Internet can also be described as a social technology. This technology carries information to minds that are included in the application area, with a feature that can be combined with human activities and procedures. Social technologies enable people to find others according to their common areas of interest talk and listen to each other and continue their connections in time. It is a well known fact that various groups and activities such as dinners, activity or sports (such as bowling) teams, college groups are created via social technologies (Sproull & Faraj, 1997). Interaction among people on the Internet and new mobile devices creates the feeling and thinking infrastructure that allows individuals to express and reflect themselves with their individual and social identities, explain themselves and know themselves.

The connections through computer technologies create the opportunity to question personal life, goals, intentions and information, and deliver them to many secondary people in the work and living environment (Turkle, 1997). It is possible to create virtual types in a virtual environment like the characters in Secondlife (Yamamoto, 2008). Therefore, during the exposition of individuality, brand new forms of thinking do not mind a “sexual change” where men present themselves as women or vice versa arises. However, individuality options in mobile communication are narrowing down with video technologies except for Internet and games.

The subject of differences created in the thinking styles of people through computer-based communication is gradually considered with more and more serious approaches and the influences on the physical existence or stance due to the transformation of physical distance into a less important factor than before are dwelled upon (Spagnolli, Varotto & Montavani, 2003). Besides, the increasing personal interests also lead into re-questioning of relationships among people and groups (Wiertz, de Ruyter & Streukens, 2002).

Here, three main objectives have been identified regarding attempts to communicate with others. The first objective is to benefit from the database of the target society and find ways of agreement through understanding the innovative values, the second target is to suggest personal ideas and gain some sort of reputation for self-satisfaction, and the third target is to entertain and spend good time. Such similar approaches are also valid for mobile societies and mobile phone users. The communication platform, which is obtained through devices physically available in the mobile environment, began to be used in a different way compared to conventional communication styles. Mobile communication allows for encountering with more intense but superficial transformations in human relationships. Mobile societies create a situation that facilitates convergence and interactions, and coming face to face and simplify the conversion of a virtual relationship into an actual relationship.

Table 1. Some developed countries mobile subscriber monthly consumption of content and applications
Activity France Germany Italy Spain United Kingdom United States
(Source: Jaimee, Minney & Tina, Lorkin, 2007 “Mobile Social Networking Has 12.3 Million Friends in the US and Western Europe” M:Metrics, Inc 
Sent Text Message 72.10% 80.00% 85.80% 84.00% 86.60% 41.60%
Used Photo Messaging 22.40% 21.70% 30.60% 31.50% 29.60% 17.50%
Purchased Ringtone 5.80% 5.50% 4.60% 5.60% 3.80% 9.40%
Used Personal E-Mail 4.40% 4.70% 8.90% 8.40% 7.10% 9.00%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 3.00% 3.30% 5.70% 6.20% 5.00% 6.70%
Used Work E-Mail 2.10% 2.80% 5.20% 5.20% 3.80% 5.30%
Downloaded Mobile Game 1.40% 2.70% 3.10% 4.70% 4.80% 3.20%
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 1.70% 2.10% 2.60% 2.10 1.90% 3.20%
n= 12,705 15,615 13,719 13,080 15,758 33,810

Table 1. Some developed countries mobile subscriber monthly consumption of content and applications (Jaimee, Minney & Tina, Lorkin, 2007 “Mobile Social Networking Has 12.3 Million Friends in the US and Western Europe”

Therefore, mobile phones also introduce a brand new way of socialization into the lives of people. With social networks through this channel, people can more rapidly contact with groups that are suitable for themselves. Social networking is based on four basic focuses.

  • Activity focus
  • Interest focus
  • Work focus
  • Entertainment focus

According to the data of M:Metrics (August 15, 2007), the number of connections to social network websites in the US and West Europe in June 2007 was 12.3 million. The number of mobile network website followers is 7.5 million in the US which has the highest ratio. This figure accounts for 3.5% of the mobile users. The US is followed by Italy with 1.3 million users and 2.8%, the UK with 1.1 million users and 2.5%, Spain with 751 thousand users and 2.3%, Germany with 1.9% and France with 1.7%. According to the data of the same group, MySpace is the social network that attracts the higher number of mobile uses in the US and UK. Facebook has about 80 million users (Holzner, 2009).

Minney & Lorkin (2007) indicate that in most of the developed countries, the largest consumption of mobile phones is through text messages and it is followed by photo-messaging while the ratios of email and instant messaging are currently at a lower ratio. The highest number of messages was sent with 86.60% while the ratio decreased to 41.60% in the US. Concerning the reception of personal e-mails via mobile phone, the US and Italy leads respectively with 9% and 8.9%. Mobile instant messenger is most commonly used in the US with 6.7%, and it is followed by Spain with 6.2% (Table 1).

It is seen that ventures related with social networks have not reached a high number as most of the devices are still old fashioned and are not compatible with 3G technology and new developments. However, this figure can be expected to increase in line with the changing level. The elements that make mobile phone practical such as easier utilization and continuous possession also encourage that.

During the development of social network use, certain new services may occur in cyberspace and more affective services can be obtained through related means. Links such as press and get married are among such interesting ventures. Websites that are configured in order to find a couple for a happy life, etc. are subscription-based. Actually, such ventures seem quite natural considering that the main function of social networks on the Internet is to find friends and spend a good time. Private interaction websites require a different type of specialization. The reason why they receive such interest can be explained with the impact of social loneliness or at least the curiosity they evoke.

Non-adolescent children and teenagers also use mobile phone in order to identify themselves and create social rings other than their families; therefore, future generations are gradually more attached to their personal devices. Children strengthen and change their ways of communication with their families through these devices (Holson, 2008).

De Souza e Silva expresses that mobile phones created a bigger influence than any of the antecedent entertainment and communication devices (2006, p. 20). Mobile phones include many forms of socialization through sportive and artistic interaction through built-in games and camera systems.

In addition, the mobile instruments’ ability to connect other electronic systems is also influential on the structure of social behavior. For example, with sample applications such as the telephones to which alarm devices can transmit signals or the realization of various transactions such as taking appointments from health organizations, etc. e-government or private organizations, mobile phones have become influential on elements such as security, health, social information, emergency and even jurisdiction. Furthermore, it has also become very significant for non-governmental organizations in order to create awareness or effectuate their practices.

Social Networking

Social networking can be considered as social production and organizational platform. The mobile platform has also enabled a new mode that supports creativity. According to the Juniper Research’s Social Networking and User Generated Content (UGC) Report, mobile social networks are also among examples of “social networking” now. This network includes systems that allow for the sharing of content through various applications such as chatting, presence, IM and VoIP (Chard, 2008).

12.3 million people have companions on mobile social networks in the US and in Western Europe. Such interactions cause certain changes in the understanding of friendship, which is a determinant for social relationships. According to News Corporation (US), purchasing figures from MySpace social network reached 580 million dollars in 2006 and obtained an unexpected success, and that site also enabled obtaining the demographic data of the Web 2.0 youth and better understanding of demographical influences. Also, the situation did not remain there and the online and mobile environments that have become social network phenomena, have given clues on how social development is, and have drawn attention to the examination of a network-based culture of the future. According to Smith trusted referals are the most powerful marketing message inside social networks (Holzner, 2009, p.8).

It is known that the newly started operator portals are also used for building friendship. There can also be some portals which are established under different names on a geographical area basis, addressing differing tastes and societies.

According to Young (2006), the means provided by the mobile environment enables the creation of a situation that reinforces mutual trust through the cooperation of advertisers with users. Instead of reaching a certain mass targeted in advertising campaigns, the entire social network is used as an advertising channel as a result of the mentioned trust. In this context and distribution, campaigns which are conducted with almost no cost may appear. Such an opportunity could not be created in any existing mass media form, and such a cost-efficient advertising could not be made.

According to Leahul (2008), brands need the information to be obtained from their customers in the social network in order to win in the challenging competition environment. According to an independent research, more than three quarters of Facebook and MySpace users feel closer to the brands due to the communication in the form of a give and take in a social network environment. Facebook and MySpace have also identified that discourse with customers as one of the most important elements in creating a brand value; accordingly, the necessity for users to go beyond just being a friend or fan has arisen for the success of the brands of companies. The research of the Chartered Institute of Marketing also revealed that social networks like Facebook are very closely related with marketing and branding. A similar situation is also valid for mobile phone communication. The anytime and anywhere advantage of the mobile phone is suitable to allow for a more continuous use of social networks very soon.

In the mobile communication environment, with the addition of brand names in friend lists, the opportunity to create a feeling of admiration and a more intensified use of emotional interactions with the brand has arisen. So, brands can increase their ability to evaluate reactions and ideas of their users, and to perform more efficient marketing activities. People can sometimes open discussions about a brand or product and freely express both their positive and negative opinions related with the brand.

Actually, the leading reason of evaluations that should be made by marketers is to identify the shortcomings roaming on the communication network, and benefit from an information-based infrastructure in order to correct the inconveniences. Such attempts are the approaches that create transparency, and they are based on consumer-oriented marketing approach. Evaluated from the perspective of marketing, communication network provides extremely valuable feedback opportunities of any new venture or to identify the problems of an existing product or service because the information here is solid and correct. And it provides a deeper relationship with the customer, and lays the foundation to create a more loyal customer mass.

It is expressed that although customers that have tendencies in this style may be disturbed from the promotions sent by brands, they react differently to product and service information obtained from a fan, friend or a mass to whom promotions are sent continuously. The repeated calls and applications for marketing in a disturbing way become repulsive rather than being attractive and the promotion-aimed communication may increase negative approaches. Therefore, preliminary interrogations before shopping have become more influential than promotions. The user begins to care for balanced and calibrated programs, expedient and measured information sharing.

Social network interactions can be associated with legal and illegal groups. The situations that lead to positive and negative consequences especially regarding the Internet and mobile games appear. In social networks, the uncontrolled sharing of people’s private information and labor-based artworks may also be in question. Mobile social networks turn into one of the data collection tools of various intelligence organizations, indicating features that restrict personal rights and freedom, and cause a different

legal aspect. With the reflection of violence-containing games in society, violence may increase and it may have very bad consequences. For example, the popularity of Gang Wars, one of the four thousand applications of Facebook in Turkey, has almost already exceeded the popularity of the website itself (

Social Networks and Buzz Marketing

Social influence is the leading influence that encourages individuals to buy a certain product or service. This influence is required in order to be involved in the popular culture while different ways to follow it have appeared for marketers in every period. Buzz marketing is also considered as one of the strongest marketing instruments in the world (Balter, 2004). Buzz is a mass event that influences the stance and behaviors of the society and rapidly multiplies and grows in a viral structure. The fundamental feature of a buzz is inability to know the exact source. Therefore, buzz is the message which is not based on official announcements and which is circulated through unofficial communication channels (in Solmaz, 2004, Dubrin, 2000, p. 292). Word of mouth is an interim way of oral communication and it has a strong influence in creating public opinion.

Word of mouth communication is one of the oldest marketing techniques. For example, if the consumer has an experience related with the product, then he or she would transfer the acquired positive and negative information around and to his or her friend groups. Mary Kay and Amway use well-informed customers to spread the word about their products as a social channel to obtain new customers and a high level of identify-ability (Fattah, 2000). Thanks to Internet technology, digital environments have accelerated and activated the spreading and easy acquisition of information required for people, and then spreading it to other people again (Thevenot, 2001).

In addition to viral marketing (Moore, 2003), marketing with the same logic in the mobile environment through the employment of an Internet-sourced person to person communication technique is required to be defined. Mobile channel and Internet are the communication channels that have viral, exciting and many other opportunities. Mobile phones can be used during viral marketing. The idea here is to distribute the message to customers and from them to the friends of customers and then to their friends that means further probable customers. Recommendation systems constitute one of the viral marketing methods. The recommended products are classified and presented in the digital environment, and the related opinions or recommendations are requested to be expressed. The people in the same environment willing to purchase a similar product can decide according to this ranking (Peni, 2007).

In this way, it is also possible to create vicious cycles created with the wrong information. In seconds, slanders and lies can be spread to millions and become discussed by those millions (Fattah, 2000). The rumor can most quickly be transferred via mobile instruments. The mentioned actions develop when voluntary people who tested the product deliver their experiences to others at anytime. As a result of technological developments, the means of delivering experiences to wide masses have appeared; therefore, the influences of buzz marketing have increased. The importance of its effective use in product and service promotion has also increased. Social and network influences are used in this marketing method. The beginning point of this method is the idea of selling not only to individuals but also to customer networks by sellers of products and services. Developments will be based on exploring and implementing methods to create influence in this regard.

The buzz type of marketing efforts creates strong influences on the customers’ purchasing tendencies, and they can be more efficiently used owing to current mobile devices. The purpose of word of mouth and buzz marketing are the same with regard to their core values. Buzz marketing aims to increase sales through creating a rumor about a product or service, and to enhance the customers’ credibility for the product, service or company. In such a marketing approach, certain differences arise with regard to the materials used for the product or service presentation. Actually, rumor is a phenomenon which is performed by everyone, everywhere and for everything. The fundamental point of departure for promotional activities within buzz marketing is to transfer attention-drawing activities to the customer. The environment created through customers’ conversations and dialogues with other people is the suitable marketing environment. In this context, in addition to the marketer-customer relationship, customer-customer relationship can also be used to contribute to sales. With regard to buzz marketing, the already-known marketing tactics with viral influences should be improved. In this context, maybe the marketer can take action in identifying the subjects as the initial stimulator.

In buzz marketing, increasing the interest and recognition tendency for a product or service through buzzes can be defined as marketing environment creation. This generally happens when people share their purchasing experiences with others, and it develops based on personal experiences. If the customer is not satisfied with a product or service or company that offers the mentioned product or service, then he or she would spread that dissatisfaction around. If satisfied, than he or she would recommend it.

In the fields where the cost of buzz advertising is very high, this is an element to accelerate the sales of business with almost zero cost. During the spread of the buzz, sometimes almost no cost is required to be spent. The utilization of this element is also associated with the evaluation of the processes which appear in human-communication instrument relationships, which is experienced in social environments and for which a definition has just recently been sought. In this process, most of the time, individuals may act as if they are attorneys of a brand and continue to defend or attack it as much as they can afford to. Discussions are presented for opinion in a way that does not require certainty, and the present conditions are evaluated. Therefore, its success is correlated with its naturalness.

The elements of buzz marketing can be listed as follows:

  • Sociability
  • Person
  • Group
  • Mass
  • Common ground
  • Network
  • Connection
  • Distribution from correct points or hubs
  • The device that provides distribution (face to face, internet, mobile)

The foregoing elements should be considered especially in the new marketing tactics that arise with the development of the technology. Viral influences or sociability develop when two or more consumers use the mobile environment in order to share their opinions, experiences, emotions and ideas related with the service, product or company. Although the distribution of certain company-related marketing news and promotions among mobile phones automatically turn the mobile phone into a marketing environment, its success essentially depends on personal actions.

People who act with a viral marketing approach enable the rapid and active distribution of the company or product or service related message among customers, and create different groups. In this approach, the transfer of the subject message of marketing by individuals to other individuals is encouraged. In this environment, the announcement power of the message increases incrementally; thus, the created impact grows faster. It can be expected that messages with higher entertaining or teaching strength would be distributed faster. Here, the Metcalfe Law shows its influence. According to this law, “The value of a network increases in correlation with the square of the quantity of its users” (Karaman, 2004). This law explains if the number of delivery increases 10 times, then the value increases 100 times. Similarly, the impact of viral marketing can be improved. The important issues in this regard are the risks that may arise with the conversion of the sent message to another disturbing message by the receivers in their minds and their prejudices about the received messages.

Creating Rumor Effect

The things that are spoken only for the sake of conversation in an environment where there is not an administrator are sent to other people and groups and rumor is developed as a result. Buzz marketing is the activity of performing public relations via customer or turning it into an excitement-creating activity through this way. Buzz is an activity which is usually defined as a nonsense thing performed by chatterboxes. However, buzz environment is usually one of the ways that help to easily convey the basic brand message. An interesting and quality telegraph can sometimes draw the interest of the media, and after people are informed about this issue, more talk can be obtained, and publication of articles by some columnists based on these issues can be provided. Pictures and texts distributed to the public opinion via media can turn into a very important public relations instrument. Customers believe in approved information from their friends, families, acquaintances or from people they care more than conventional advertising elements which are offered in accordance with the producer’s and seller’s interests.

In order to benefit from this method, a company should look for answers to the questions such as where do consumers obtain the information about the product the company desired to introduce, what do people tell each other while recommending the product, who are the central hubs and information connectors, what are the elements that prevent the distribution of information, what kind of other information and news are distributed on the network of buzz.

Such marketing tactics are especially very suitable for the excitement or difference creating the products or services which are removed from the market after fulfilling their lifespan. Rumors can become more effective when it is presented with a visual factor, and turns the users into visual focus points which visually present the product. Rumors complete their lives and dissolve, but leave a footprint behind. The higher the number of people who pay attention to the buzz, the more useful it becomes. It provides suitability in the social environment. It is a simple and easy to use method.

The product, service or idea should have certain qualities to create a rumor. Information related with the product should qualify as news. Topics should be based on differences people can talk about. These differences can be related with the functionality of the product, the ease of use, price or image. It can be used more frequently if it is in the developmental stage of its lifetime. They can especially benefit from this method by organizing programs directed towards children and young people. For example, some children and young people are hired by a DVD game company and they are given 10 or 20 of the DVDs, CDs, mobile game type of products, and they are requested to distribute them to their friends. The products are distributed to friends and they are asked to express the benefits of obtaining these

products free of charge. So, children and young people can be influenced more positively as they gain information from presentations made by people in a reliable manner.

Direct-marketing companies such as Avon, Amway, Tupperware, and Herbalife also obtained significant advantages from such buzz marketing because these products are not sold at any store or shop. Discounts or promotions are indicated by their representatives, and their benefits are continuously emphasized. These people are also the extensive users and defenders of these products. Otherwise, performing the sales is not easy.

Buzz Hubs

The networks which enable the distribution of information are specialist-centered and social centered, and they can be structured as mobile-based and person-centered. The center of the networks which people develop by connecting to many people is flexible as a hub structure which can be continuously transferred to others. This form can be compared to a honeycomb. Each midrib of the comb keeps honey in connection with each other. But the honey is accumulated in each midrib by another bee. The networks in the shape of mega hubs are created by the press, celebrities and politicians who can influence wide masses. Specialist-centered networks are created among people who are influential in certain specific fields. Meanwhile, social-centered networks are created among people who succeed in using different channels to bring together many people in a social environment. Status is not required to create these networks. The network can begin from micro celebrities in that group, and every network around each focus point has its specific superiorities.

Individuals who can be at the center of the network represent different behavior from others. These people with the ability to organize other people and built connections with different groups are the most convenient in this regard. People who can influence others with their expertise and knowledge are those who can succeed in becoming famous and receiving interest on the Internet and mobile environment. People such as salesmen, who are considered among the convincers, are among the leading starters of buzzes. To sum up, while creating a buzz, people and groups that can be included in the sales force should always be taken into consideration.

Companies can build a system and introduce buzzes in that system. However, whether it is moral or immoral is a question of debate. It has been noted that a leading company used such a company for a new mobile phone model. During the promotion of this product, 120 actors and actresses acted as tourists at famous places of the US, and asked people passing by if they would take their pictures with the digital camera of their mobile phones. Here, the product was presented to potential customers without facing any salesmen, and people were impressed by charming, attractive and appealing foreigners, and they were not informed that it was a presentation, and the campaign was performed with the prediction that people would share their experiences in this regard with others (Nucifora, 2005). In this advertising campaign, an effort beyond the conventional instruments of marketing is in question. In this presentation, a new structure was created with a departure point from “buzz”. However, after becoming aware of what was going on, the people thought that this campaign was carried out in an oppressive and deceitful way, and that they were used in creating a false world in order to cheat people. It is possible to easily organize such campaigns by distributing misleading and false data about a product or service from an unknown source. It includes its own dangers as it allows both attracting people’s attention easily and misleading them.

Buzz is an instrument that leaves a long-lasting effect in marketing during the distribution of information related with the product, service or company. With this method, the spread of information and news only as rumors is not sufficient. Rumors are required to direct people to buy, and stimulate people or groups. Non-profit organizations can be effective in a very short time by using such an influence to call people for help through buzz and excitement. Buzz marketing oriented activities should come into the agenda with excitement and differentiation creating topics for both non-profit and profit organizations. The buzz, which is created with witnesses, is considered more reliable than advertisements and other promotional instruments in the close vicinity especially among young people.

In an effective buzz marketing management, first influential people are identified. These people are supported with contributions such as the product, service, or discount coupons. Then, a situation that continues without any efforts of the marketer arises and a buzz is transferred to others by these people without putting any cost on the organization. In general, provocative stimulants are used over the public benefitting from the entertainment or discussion concerning situations in general. During these provocations, a cultural capital is acquired by both the buyer and the distributor. Psychological satisfaction arising from “knowing”, “affecting the trend” or “being the first person to use the product” is featured. So, influences with a scale from the smallest to the largest can be created. Businesses use this common motive and behavior for their own benefit paying a small cost or no cost at all. So, the ability to benefit from a self-created communication network is obtained. Under the circumstances that draw the attention of other sources, it can also allow for benefitting from others’ advantages.

These practices generally create certain expectations on people. The expectation can first appear with influential advertising. Promotions can also be converted into rumors. For this method to yield a good result correct information should be presented to people and correct individuals to affect people should be reached. Some of these people are customers who directly contact the company in order to obtain information or provide information to the company. Companies are required to identify a unit about promising customers and benefit from the information obtained through the research studies of such units.

The buzz marketing method ends in an outcome beyond creating an expectation and leverages expectations. Therefore, products or services to be launched should always be beyond expectations. Unless expectations are met, the situation may turn into a negative buzz and risk the product or service. Positive buzz brings success to the product, while negative buzz may cause death to the product. Buzz marketing can also be used when de-marketing a product which comes to the end of its lifetime.

Buzz marketing has various risks such as being misleading, coercive and cheating. Therefore, companies are required to search ways to conduct campaigns which are respectful to ethical values.

Porcupine Metaphor

Buzz distribution can be identified with the porcupine metaphor. An impulse or message (buzz) which is received at any hub on the Internet and mobile phone network suddenly draws attention. This rumor, the target of which is not clearly understood, may immediately spread around the close vicinity, and pins (messages) are sent to certain targets. However, this spread is not limited to the close vicinity and it is also distributed to their external peripherals and then to the latter peripherals in the same way. The events and statuses that create a pain or pleasure or similar feelings, are sometimes copied and forwarded to their surroundings and targets in the vicinity are multiplied. And from time to time, they are eliminated

by the person and then the distribution continues. Here, the basic information is to acquire information or entertainment; therefore, it does not seek a profit. As it is based on voluntariness, it can indicate a faster performance compared to a profit-aiming flow. It can be considered similar to the abilities of porcupines: their soft wool bristles, short pins, thick and very flexible, long bristles and thick and long pins and the way the porcupines use them. The short pins can be considered as those with rather temporary effects, while the soft wool is the soft buzz or connections. However, when the aim is to give harm, then the thick and long bristles are used as an instrument to attack. As they are thick and sharp, they can cause inflammation of the point they cut.

Monile Literacy and Social Networks

Literacy is more than just being able to read and write; it includes learning about a wide range of subjects, and to share ideas. It includes cultural knowledge which enables a speaker, writer or reader to recognize and use language appropriate to different social situations. Mobile literacy, on the other hand, is very important for communication and some interactions in the mobile environment. So, to take part in a mobile society, it is important to learn how to use these devices and to learn to communicate with each other in the society. Using mobile phone requires less talent and knowledge than computers, which have created very dramatic influences about getting prepared for e-life. However, the means included in broadband allows for using many of the functions of Internet, which gradually became wireless, with both mobile phones and handheld computers. This indicates that computers and mobile phones will gradually converge.

Although mobile phones are mostly used by commercial companies in order to reach a customer, and to follow up on the marketed product or marketer, they are also be used for advertising and promotional purposes. From the point of public organizations, in addition to sending announcements and giving information, it can also be used as an important platform for developing economies where functions such as the performance of operations that should be carried out by citizens at those organizations are also included (The 2007 e-Readiness Rankings, The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2007).

The government also has an important role in mobile literacy. An e-government can be defined as a government facilitating the Internet computer and mobile technologies in servicing its citizens. On the other hand, digital divide is the inequality among people in accessing, learning and using such technologies. The digital divide patterns also differ among countries. In some countries, gender may be important; in others, disposable income may be the major source of differences among citizens. However, Internet and mobile technologies are closing the gap between the users and the groups.

The groups that have discovered instant messaging services and enhanced channels such as MySpace (200 million registered users in Holzner, 2009, p.7) on the Internet are now building a very different way of communication via mobile phones with new methods and even new types of correspondence. These are also effective cultural areas to share a lot of information to people in the connection. The social media also leaves its place to social web and ratings, reviews, comments and more could be find within its content (Evans, 2008). Also these kinds of approaches also form around collective interests such as health up to matchmaker’s communities. Therefore, these are also important subjects for mobile marketers.

Mobile Dating

As it has been for centuries, also in our age, building a relationship, going out and dating is a desired phenomena. These are very important but hard to get issues for individuals. In the 1920s, dating or going out was intended to meet social expectations and it was perceived as the manners and attitudes to attract the opposite sex or to organize romantic relationships (Cate & Lloyd, 1992, in Byrne & Findlay, 2004). At that moment, dating or romance relationships were traditionally aimed to conclude in marriage. Now it is seen that, these relationships that begin via phone or face-to-face interaction have changed. Lately, relationships are becoming more virtual due to communication through texting (SMS) or through CMC (computer-mediated communication) (Asia Market Intelligence, 2002; Mori, 2000 in Byrne & Findlay, 2004).

According to Byrne & Findlay (2004), text messaging has an extremely unpretentious meeting structure regarding the acts and behaviors of the first move, beginning with the relationship, dating and coming together ( Furthermore, it does not increase personal responsibility.

Mobile dating services are also named as cell dating, cellular dating or cell phone dating. These are services provided through text messaging, mobile chatting and web for date chatting, meeting or building a romantic relation.

When they are used for dating or going out, these services develop through the exchanging among users of their short resume which is uploaded as ID on their mobile phones in order to provide information to each other. So, all IDs can find or interrogate each other as online or through a certain telephone number which is directed by a service company. Here, the criteria include, age, sex and sexual preferences and encounters with personal photographs are provided. The use of such sites is free of charge, while a service fee can also be included over the standard text messaging service fee or a service fee per message can be applied.

Mobile dating web sites give emphasis on social network sharing form of location-based services to receive interest. For this purpose, certain companies offer targeting devices that warn the users when the distance of the people to each other is 30 feet in order to facilitate meeting (Kim, 2005). Certain systems use Bluetooth technologies to bring together their users at clubs or bars at certain locations. These meetings are named as proximity dating. These systems are becoming popular as online mostly in Europe and Asia. It is believed that such dating will increase very rapidly through GPS phones and GSM localization.

According to Kim (2005), mobile meeting and dating is one of the big steps among the subjects of online socialization. As of March 2007, 3.6 million mobile phone users logged in such mobile dating sites. Most of the users are male and between the ages 18 and 34 (Divito, 2007). According to M: Metrics, the role of the mobile phone for younger people is different from that for older people (Donovan, in Divito 2007). The mobile phone is an instrument to have fun, connect friends, date, and meet new people for youths. Those who enter in such attempts via Internet are mostly considered as more traditional and although such users prefer Webdate and, these ventures may shift to mobile devices due to practicality. Here, subscription systems or pricing such as payment per message are performed.

In fact, the replacement of online dating with mobile dating due to practicality has already begun and such encounters and acquaintances have been moved to the mobile platform. Dating website owners describe this as providing people with the opportunity to choose (Kim, 2005).

Here, the leading one of the most important issues is security. All connections are anonymous and the users disclose their real identities only after they choose somebody. Besides, people are recommended to always choose crowded places as the meeting points. Mobile devices enable meeting and beginning to date in a very short time. It is indicated that such meetings and dating have climbed one step further, compared to Internet dating. The reason is mobile dating provides the opportunity to spontaneously meet new people at any location and while moving. This especially increases the requirement for communication and satisfaction. Mobile phone communication becomes influential in satisfying increased entertainment and fun requirements.