AT&T introduced a development this week, assembled by mobile social networking software specialist Intercasting Corp, that allows its wireless subscribers to employ a new MEdia Mall option called My Communities, a $2.99/month extra, to connect with friends and other associates through services like MySpace, Photobucket, LiveJournal, Xanga, and Rabble, as well as niche and specialized networks like AsianAve, BlackPlanet, MiGente, FaithBase, and GLEE.
Only a few months have passed since we witnessed AT&T provide its mobile subscribers with a social service operable via the MEdia Mall storefront. Dubbed JuiceCaster, it enables users to share media with people on the Web across hotspots like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter. My Communities, meanwhile, which is a product of a platform called ANTHEM, broadens the user’s list of choices for interacting with others. In addition to media sharing, run of the mill message-based communication, comment postings and friend requests are made possible through the My Communities application dashboard.
To put it concisely, My Communities is merely a checklist of partnerships established by Intercasting. Intercasting, the proprietor of ANTHEM, operates in a way that binds carriers, content providers, social networking services, and advertising networks together into one channel, in order to reach a large audience in relatively uniform fashion. Indeed, Mashable previously touched on ANTHEM’s integration with Rabble, Piczo, and MTV. Still, given the volume of handset sales that tend to inhibit free-form exploration of third-party software designs, AT&T’s bridge with ANTHEM, regardless of its somewhat generic nature, seems a sensible way to attract that pool of consumers to bring some of their social services off the PC screen.
It is of course not guaranteed that the average subscriber’s ability to manage multiple connections with multiple services is a convenience that will attract a lot of buyers. Much depends on whether those potential users think it necessary to spend $2.99 per month on options that are otherwise free to use via their desktop-based Web browsers. But if the cost of a smartphone laden with a Mobile Web access plan is too much of a premium, this alternative is quite cost-effective, and could well convince non-power users to grab hold of the extra features My Communities delivers.
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