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Three ventures (from Finland , The Netherlands and Japan ) that are using the MMS platform to introduce innovative, photo-based consumer services in real estate, soap operas and teen phone blogs.

Opportunities

Will this be the last time we report on clever MMS inspired new business ideas? Not likely. Some numbers: according to research from Strategy Analytics, camera phones are expected to make up 11 percent of phone sales by 2004, while 50 million MMS handsets will be in the European market by 2004. It is also estimated that by 2007, there will be 147 million camera phones around world-wide. That should be enough to get creative entrepreneurs and marketers going! May we suggest a ‘lost and found’ dating service? Just imagine: cam phone owner X falls in love at first sight with fellow commuter Y, doesn’t have a chance to make contact, but is able to take pic of love object Y just before he/she slips through the train’s closing doors. Cam phone owner X posts the pic on a love-lost-love-found website, the heretounknown Y is delighted to find out that a mysterious stranger has a crush on him/her, and — hey presto! — an MMS match is made. New feature for match.com, perhaps? Just a thought. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Three ventures that are using the MMS platform to introduce innovative, photo-based consumer services in real estate, soap operas and teen phone blogs

MMS (short for ‘Multimedia Messaging Service’, or ‘sending and receiving pictures from your cell/mobile phone’) has been around for a while in Hong Kong and Japan, and is steadily conquering the European market, with the first camera phones now being sold in the US as well. While the first stories about innovative use of MMS involved juvenile delinquents taking sneaky shots in girls locker rooms, and Ericsson pushing its latest model by urging owners to send each other semi-nude pics of themselves, the first serious new business ideas are emerging, as shown by three ventures that use the MMS platform to introduce innovative, photo-based consumer services. In Finland, real estate agent Huoneistokeskus is advertising property codes on billboards and in printed advertising, enabling prospective buyers to receive color pics and floor plans of properties on their mobile phones (source: Digital Bulletin). Meanwhile, in The Netherlands Media Republic, a cross-media company, is about to launch MMSeries, an interactive soap opera starring well known Dutch ‘soapies’. The episodes will be broadcast picture by picture to mobile fans, who will naturally be charged for each new dramatic event they receive. Participating celebs will take the pics themselves, following a flexible and partly self-evolving daily script. And in case you want to star in your own daily soap, just join the 42,000 Japanese girls who use phone blogging to send daily, weekly or monthly diary digests to eager fellow teens. The phone blogs are managed and hosted by Girlswalker.com (source: Wired). We’re surprised Vodafone Live hasn’t invited them to set up shop in Europe.

Opportunities

Will this be the last time we report on clever MMS inspired new business ideas? Not likely. Some numbers: according to research from Strategy Analytics, camera phones are expected to make up 11 percent of phone sales by 2004, while 50 million MMS handsets will be in the European market by 2004. It is also estimated that by 2007, there will be 147 million camera phones around world-wide. That should be enough to get creative entrepreneurs and marketers going! May we suggest a ‘lost and found’ dating service? Just imagine: cam phone owner X falls in love at first sight with fellow commuter Y, doesn’t have a chance to make contact, but is able to take pic of love object Y just before he/she slips through the train’s closing doors. Cam phone owner X posts the pic on a love-lost-love-found website, the heretounknown Y is delighted to find out that a mysterious stranger has a crush on him/her, and — hey presto! — an MMS match is made. New feature for match.com, perhaps? Just a thought. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Website: www.huoneistokeskus.fi/, www.mediarepublic.com/, www.girlswalker.com/

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