I heard from my friend James Peh and he told me of his latest venture, Frenclub. Frenclub (yes, note spelling, it is not Friend Club, its shortned to Frenclub) is a mobile social network here in Asia in several countries including Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. Frenclub has the typical friends-oriented social networking such as profiles, chat, etc. They work on a very simple level of the technology. You don't need 3G, these work on basic SMS. They do have an age limit of 18, but younger members may join with parental approval.
How is Frenclub doing? They have over 2 million subscribers and they are earning over 8 milllion Malaysian Ringgit in revenues this year (about 2.3 million USD). Now, while that may seem low compared to many Western companies in the social networking space for mobile, that we have talked about - average revenues being essentially 10 US cents per subscriber per month - note these are in markets with far lower standards of living, where the average SMS text message costs about 1-2 US cents per message. If we consider purchasing power parity, the spending is equivalent to about a dollar per month of spending per subscriber in a Western market economy. Yes, once again we see that mobile is a magical money-making machine.