RealTime IT News

MySpace From Your Phone

News Corp's MySpace and Cingular Wireless have struck a deal that lets subscribers play on the social-networking site from their cell phones.

MySpace Mobile for Cingular allows subscribers to edit MySpace profiles, view and add friends, post photos and blogs, send and receive MySpace messages for $2.99 a month, according to a statement.

The announcement, an extension of an earlier text-messaging agreement between the two companies, further blurs the lines between cell phone carriers and the Web.

Although other carriers have entered the social-networking space, the Cingular agreement marks a change in the way carriers present content. "Carriers are beginning to welcome PC brands customers already use," according to Yankee Group analyst Jill Aldort. In the past, carriers have insisted services adjust to the constraints of a handset.

Social networking is "definitely on the radar screen of the other carriers," added Aldort. For example, Verizon signed a similar agreement with Google's YouTube, allowing users of V Cast-enabled phones to access videos.

Facebook, the second-largest social-networking site, has been available through Cingular, Sprint and others for a year or more.

MySpace earlier this year signed with Helio, which may have done more to sell Helio's phones than boost the ranks of MySpace users.

For MySpace, which has said it will work with other wireless carriers, such agreements allows it to reach users who already own mobile phones. It's more about stickiness and retaining users, the analyst said.

Aside from an uptick in photo usage or larger data bills, offering MySpace on phones won't cause many new users to be drawn to the social-networking sites, Aldort said. Rather, MySpace users will sign up for MySpace Mobile as another way to keep in contact.