If one were to believe Nokia Conversations, Social networking is trending to Micro Social networking and that is a trend that Nokia seems to be investing in through its acquisition of PLUM, the micro-social network startup.
Plum will compliment the Nokia’s Social Location services, with the acquired assets becoming part of Nokia’s Services unit. Plum develops and operates a cloud-based social media sharing and messaging service for private groups. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where users can collect hundreds or thousands of friends, Plum targets smaller social bodies. It is suited for families, co-workers, neighborhoods, sports, schools, faith and any other existing social group. Plum is like Facebook for families, but more private and intimate.
Nokia asks a very different question, a thought provoking one in the age of multiplying networking: Is there a fatigue filling in maintaining large networks?
Quoting Nokia Conversations: “Are we reaching a threshold now where we begin cutting back on the size of our social network contacts pool? Or do we keep collecting connections, and is the skill then in the segmenting those people and customizing the sorts of experiences we want to share with some groups and not others? Does the blurring of the lines between the personal and professional in these social spaces require more privacy customization?”
Business logic wise, this is being seen as an effort to expand the Social Location services approach central to its Ovi Store virtual app marketplace. The positioning is different from Facebook type mass networking to individual and restricted network of families. Augmented with Nokia’s impressive device penetration there may be some promise in the story. We will watch the space for more.