The rather unimpressive answer I’ve found despite an exhaustive internet search for the origin of the MOSOSO acronym, is that it first appeared in Wired magazine, shortly after the launch of Dodgeball. Certainly they have been eager proponents of this leviathan of an acronym and services in this space. (see Wired: MoSoSos Not So So-So). 2006 does indeed appear to be the year that Mobile Social Software (and its new sibling Locational Mobile Social Software) will begin to live up to their much vaunted promise.
General mobile services, from downloads to subscription services, are still plagued by inconsistency and/or underwhelming usability; a healthy swathe of Web 2.0 offerings with integrated mobile functionality is probably just what consumers need to reinstate some excitement and belief in mobile services, and I suspect if our competitors are anything like us at playtxt, the products and services that we will see being touted under the MOSOSO and LOMOSOSO banner over the coming months will be quite exciting and consequently begin to get significant traction -along with the associated press coverage.
Although we are going to see the start of an immense battle for MOSOSO supremacy this year, it wont be until 2007 that they start to make any big impact like the MySpace or Friendster’s have online. The fight will be between the old guard that have survived until now (such as Dodgeball and my own company playtxt), the new entrants (such as Buddyping and mososo.com) and those established community sites which have woken up to the reality of the mobile revolution (such as MySpace – who have announced they will “go mobile” sometime in 2006). Not to mention those being worked on in basements and back rooms, we don’t even know about yet. Furthermore, Dodgeball was of course bought by Google in 2005; so expect something special from the Google skunkworks some time soon.
We are about to witness the first skirmishes of the MOSOSO war. Just as users matured from online dating to online communities, users are finally ready to embrace the concept of “mobile communities”. The potential user base and opportunity is about to expand once again, as the next generation of services arrive in anger. With 2.3 billion mobile users to target (double that of the internet) the next 24 months will shape the future battlefield of MOSOSO and LOMOSOSO services.
I’ll be here fighting on the front line; and reporting on the winners, losers and the new weapons of the mobile social software war…whether my own, or the enemies!