The nation’s two biggest carriers announced deals with Intercasting this week, but VeriSign is tossing its social networking product into the ring through the release of Xoomerang, a carrier-based mobile media suite designed to help mobile consumers navigate social networking and media services.
“We’re very excited to go into this market,” said Warren Faleiro, vice president, Multimedia Applications for VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media division.
The offering means carriers don’t have to go to each individual social networking destination to ink deals. Xoomerang allows end-users to view, publish and interact with online destinations. VeriSign will work with the highest-in-demand sites.
The release of Xoomerang coincides with online social networking’s growth worldwide and its expected migration to mobile. According to estimates by Gartner, about 180 million mobile users worldwide in 2008 (about 6% of the total base) use some form of mobile social networking service weekly. But adoption will increase to more than 800 million (or 20%) by 2012, according to Gartner.
Xoomerang’s Media Interexchange catalog management tool allows carriers to program pre-integrated destination sites available to users from a master catalog of connected sites and to configure custom places. Users can then personalize their account by choosing favorite destinations from either a handset or on the Web. As new destinations are added to the catalog, subscribers are automatically alerted both on the Internet and by text message.