By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics is expected to make a foray into the social network service (SNS) market early next year by introducing a Facebook-like service, according to Samsung officials, Tuesday.
They said that the electronics giant is developing a social networking service it hopes could eventually compete with Facebook. The new website will be accessible on a wide variety of Internet-capable devices, including cameras and televisions.
The company, which competes with Apple for global supremacy in smartphones and touch-screen tablets, has been investing more efforts to strengthen the software and content side of its business.
It has been buoyed by the acceptance of its mobile chat application, ChatOn, available not only on Samsung devices, but products made by rivals Apple and Research In Motion (RIM). But social media has been fueling the explosive demand for mobile Internet devices and has always been its main focus.
Software experts at Samsung have a framework to build on in Family Story, a social networking service with an emphasis on photo sharing, chatting and schedule reminders, accessible on a limited number of Samsung smartphones and Web-connected televisions.
To allow users to access the social networking service from anywhere, at anytime and on any device, Samsung plans to integrate it with Amazon’s cloud computing platform. The company has yet to decide on a name for the service.
``By the end of the year, we will have a polished and finished version of Family Story that will be offered first to Samsung device users for free. The new service will become available in the first quarter of next year at the earliest,’’ said an official.
Internally, the company calls the project Samsung Facebook.
“The eventual goal is to expand our social media service across different devices from different companies across different mobile platforms. That includes cameras, televisions and blue-ray players,” the official said
``We are confident that the service will be popular globally. That means we need to guard against the possibilities of a data bottleneck. That’s why we want a server-based computing structure and disperse with a network of servers across different countries.’’
Samsung hopes that its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of smartphones and Web-enabled televisions will give its social networking service a quick start.