MocoSpace, the mobile social networking service, is growing at an incredible rate despite no partnerships with major carriers and an emphasis on simple feature-phones instead of smartphones and mobile apps. This winning combination has helped the four-year-old startup create a six-million strong loyal userbase in no time flat.
While everyone else in the mobile space is focusing on new-age technologies such as feature-rich smartphones, app stores and carrier partnerships, MocoSpace has quietly gained a viral following relying only on word-of-mouth from its users to grow very quickly. The formula, according to its founders, is very simple- younger users are much more apt to use mobile social networking than the rest of the population, so this is the demographic they’re after. In addition, this young demographic is not the one that uses expensive smartphones, instead relying on simple feature-phones with simple web browsers and the most basic of functionality.
About 80 percent of MocoSpace members are younger than 30, according to vice president of marketing Jim Gregoire; 50 percent are under 24, and a quarter are teens. It’s a group of mobile users who can’t necessarily afford the latest, greatest smartphones—and who may not even own computers—but who are nonetheless highly social, and who want to interact with peers around the corner or across the globe. MocoSpace serves them through a combination of, on the one hand, classic social-networking features like profiles, comments, friend lists, and chat, and on the other, digital content like photos, music, and videos, both user-generated and professional.
The service is completely free, relying solely on ad-revenue, and is designed to be accessed from the most simple of web-browsers on the most simple of devices. This forumla proves that keeping up with technology and the masses isn’t always the best way to go. There’s a lot to be said about sticking to the basics.