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Orange's Social World

2:10 PM -- Orange (NYSE: FTE)'s Orange has gathered up all of its social networking partner sites and put them into one happy place on its mobile portal Orange World. (See Orange Gets Social.)

The new mobile service will let users access their social networks via WAP pages while on the go, including Bebo, Dailymotion , Facebook , Flirtomatic, Meetic, MySpace , Pikeo, and Skyrocks. Users will be able to see profile updates, such as emails, comments, and pictures. (See Bebo's Hot to Trot in Mobile, Orange, Bebo Team Up.)

Pascal Thomas, VP for new services at Orange Group Advertising Division, said the operator "prefers driving the audience through the portal. The goal of the portal is to push new services."

But Thomas wouldn't say how big that audience is or how many Orange customers access social network sites from their mobiles, like Orange UK 's mobile Bebo service. (See Orange Launches Bebo Mobile and Bebo Goes Mobile.)

The idea is to make it easier for people to access these sites from their mobile phones. A second version of the service will be available as an application that runs directly on the device. Orange launched the service in France first and will launch it later in the U.K., Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal.

Orange isn't the only mobile operator stepping up its social networking game. Orange's move follows Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD)'s new MySpace service launched last week. (See Vodafone Gets Social, Vodafone Takes MySpace Mobile, and Vodafone Flattens Rates & Gets Social.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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