Bluepulse, MySpace: Better cell phone socializers
MySpace Mobile Web and Bluepulse are two social networks that continue to improve for cell phone users.
What's the difference between Bluepulse, Facebook Mobile, and MySpace Mobile? Unlike the others, whose services were adapted from the Web site to the WAP site, Bluepulse , and its engineering team focused solely on designing a simple, useful social network anyone can use on a Web-ready phone.
Three new features keep to the mantras of simplicity and quick broadcasting while also adding convenience. People are now able to import friends' e-mails from Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL by either cherry-picking friends or importing them all. While there's a way to add friends by searching for their phone number, name, e-mail address, or Bluepulse log-in later on in the process, the new feature begs for a search field to keep the socially promiscuous from thumbing through 20 pages of friends.
A second new addition takes the form of a daily summary of your activity feed, sent to you via e-mail or SMS if you haven't logged on to Bluepulse for 24 hours. This complements a feature already firmly in place, the optional SMS or e-mail alert you get when you receive, for example, an invite request or message. The friends you've imported via e-mail will receive something similar to this in their in-boxes every time you send them a message via Bluepulse, but don't worry, they can opt out.
A selection of seven emoticons make up the final addition to Bluepulse's mobile social network. Now people can select "pixs" instead of "text" to send one of these smilies to anyone in their network. Like IM, I'd like to be able to mix images with words, but CEO Ben Keighran cites technical reasons why Bluepulse is currently holding back.
"A lot of browsers can't handle text and pictures," he said. An image appended by more than four or five words can break simple mobile browsers, he says, but creating a full-blown emoticon and text set for select phones is definitely an option.
MySpace Mobile Web
Bluepulse isn't the only social network with a mobile presence to get work done. Earlier this month, MySpace Mobile Web left beta and made its big push as a much richer mobile app than the beta. Plus, deals with Sprint and Verizon make it much easier for people to directly access their MySpace content as a shortcut from the phone's Web portal. MySpace Mobile Web users can update their profiles, post blogs, peruse photos, and send and receive messages from these shortcuts or by pointing the cell phone browser to m.myspace.com.