In a recent report about the use of mobile phones in citizen media the technological features of mobile phones and their potential for consuming and producing mobile social content have been analysed (Mobile Active Consortium, 2008). The key features identified are:
- Text messaging holds the potential of instant exchange and update of personal information channels. The underlying model allows new information distribution models like personalized information channels or micro-blogging. Furthermore, nearly every mobile phone used today has SMS messaging capabilities. Successful services are released all over the world with a focus on India, South America, and Africa.
- Voice and Audio: mobile phones can do much more than just enabling direct phone calls to another person. You can connect to several persons in an audio conference, you can call in to service for recording and instant publishing of a phone call, you can use voice-based services to navigate in applications, or you can connect to online audio streams or FM Radio networks.
- Photos and Videos allow mobile phones to create low-fi content on the spot and distribute contextualized information. A prominent example is the recent release of the iPhone 3GS, which can record videos and submit them to YouTube mobile. In the first 5 days after the release of the device the mobile content uploads to YouTube grew by 40%.