M-commerce will work…for Gen Y…for now.

In the next 12 to 18 months analysts predict that m-commerce revenues will reach a half a billion dollars.  Pairing that with almost 300 million wireless customers, “someone” is going to be buying something through their wireless device. The question is who is that person? Is it the Baby boomer? No, they are just becoming comfortable with their computers and shopping online. Is it the Gen X’ers? No not yet, although they will follow pretty quickly as soon as the cool and the perceptive ease of use factors rises to a palatable level.

The answer my friend lies in your Gen Y users. The 15-29 users who just so happen to be your biggest social network users as well. This is, by no means coincidental. It makes complete sense on a lot of levels but here it is in its simplest terms. This generation is so technologically saavy that buying “things” using their mobile phones is nothing more than another viable option for spending money, communicating with their friends and being in the NOW.  It’s just another way to simplify their overly simplified “Me generation” entitled lives. It is a mere blip on the landscape that is their socialized technified world.

Not to sound bitter, and if I do it’s only because this generation can embrace a new technology so easily and so seamlessley that the projections for what kind of money might be generated might be underestimating the puchasing power of this group. The only way the numbers get pushed down is by overestimating the mobile purchasing power of a 15-19 year old who might not have a credit card to complete the transaction.

Gen Y users have 2 things working in their favor as well. 1) they account for almost a 100% ownership of cell phones and 2) have a purchasing power of almost $200 billion.  Add to this the fact that this group has no problem accessing the mobile web with relative ease, and couple it with their comfort level in regards to their expectation that mobile web sites meet their demands, and you have volatile mixture of a captive audience ready to buy with expendable cash.

In the next 12-24 months, marketers, consumers and advertisers will need to look to Gen Y to call the shots in regards to usage numbers, trends, and expectations. As soon as Gen X and the Boomers see how well it works for Gen Y. Look for M-commerce to explode. Look no further than Japan for a classic example, where in the last year e-tailers rang up almost $10 billion in revenue from M-commerce sales.

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MySpace and Facebook users don’t care about their Privacy.

Here’s a revelation to all of the folks that are fired up over the latest FaceBook fracas. This is also an FYI to all of those so-called critics of what MySpace and Facebook might be doing with a users information..

Guess what? The average user doesn’t care what an advertiser or social media marketer does with their data. Wanna know why? Because they’re in college or younger. They could care less about the implications of plastering their most intimate details all over the pages of Myspace and Facebook.

The only people that care are the Gen X,  Gen Y and  Boomers who are strolling or trolling, depending on your views of what a social network are.. into these 2 monolithic sites to kick the tires. They look around, think it’s kinda cool and decide to hang out awhile and see if they can “connect” with some peeps.

But wait! “Uh-oh, what do you mean you’re going to use my personal data?” For what? You mean you are going to share it? With who? Advertisers? OMG!!!!!

A voice behind a curtain: “Uhhhh well you’re sharing it with others…! ”

“Well yea that’s uhhhh different”.

The voice: It is? How is it? Tell me. You put it up there. All of it. And then some.

All of a sudden they want to take back what they said. Except that they knew going in what they were doing.  They want their cake and they want to eat it too.

If you are in college, or younger. Do you really care what is happening to your data? Probably not. All you really care about is who you can hook up with( not all of you) But, the only way to do that is to supply more personal details. So why wouldn’t Facebook and MySpace and it’s partners not want to take advantage of this? And one more thing, has anyone ever asked a typical user how much of the info that he or she puts into these social networks is actually valid???

So before we, and I’m still trying to determine just what the demographic of “we” is, decide to grab torches and pitchforks, lets consider what the contract is between user and site owner of Facebook and MySpace. And not only those 2, but all  social sites in general.  If you’re willing to share the most amazingly intimate details to utter strangers, then what’s the difference, or why should you care if Kraft foods wants to know when you eat Mac and cheese?